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The Letters of 

Teilhard de Chardin 


Lucile Swan 

The Letters of 

Teilhard de Chardin 

With a Foreword by Pierre Leroy, S.J. 

and Lucile Swan 

Edited by Thomas M. King, S./., and Mary Wood Gilbert 

SCRANTON: The University of Scranton Press 

These pages are an effort to express an internal evolution 
deeply impressed by you. 

December 15, 1950 


FOREWORD: Memories of Teilhard ix 




PROLOGUE: Memories of Lucile xv 

The Letters of the China Years: 
from 1932 to 1941 1 

The Letters of the Long Separation: 
from 1941 to 1948 143 

The Letters of the Last Years: 
from 1949 to 1955 241 

EPILOGUE: "Teilhard and the Feminine" 295 









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Portrait bust of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin by Lucile Swan; 
in the Museum of Natural History, Paris. 

FOREWORD: Memories ofTeilhard 

This image, engraved in my memory over fifty years ago, is as clear today as it 
ever was. Why, I cannot say. It is something I fail to understand since the picture is 
quite an ordinary one. 

It happened in Peking where I had just moved. I was living with Pierre 
Teilhard, a fellow Jesuit and colleague. We were alone in the new institute of geo- 
biology and our fraternal relations were fast turning to friendship. I was under 
the impression that we had no secrets from each other. 

One day, as I was going to the French hospital in Legations Road, I saw to 
my surprise a couple coming towards me— a man and a woman walking side by 
side in silent thought. It was Teilhard and an American lady whom he had not 
mentioned to me. She was about the same age as he, a striking figure, though 
quiet in her bearing and dignified in the simplicity of her dress. It is this picture 
that remains in my mind. 

I learned later that this American was Lucile Swan and that she was liv- 
ing opposite us in the same street. Her European style house was graced with a 
garden where I was to meet her several times. This was in 1940. Teilhard was to be 
found there often also, translating some of his articles into English. We all used to 
have tea together. 

She was a sculptress and had modeled a face for the "Peking Man/' an 
old fossil skull studied by Weidenreich at the Peking Union Medical College. This 
successful work had won her recognition in scientific circles. The bust was chris- 
tened "Nelly" by us privately. 

The pressure put on the Americans living in Peking by the Japanese army 
prompted a number of them to return to America. In 1941, Lucile made the wise 
decision to join them and departed in late August. 

Letters made up for the absence and the distance. The value of the result- 
ing correspondence between the two friends is left to the appreciation of the 
reader. In fact, it brought them together again, for the beginning of their friend- 
ship face to face had been somewhat strained. Lucile saw a contradiction between 
the evolutionary theories of Teilhard and his practice of chastity. "You admit the 
necessity of working thought out and with material in order to reach ideas 
abstract or God-like, but you deny the use of material (human) in order to reach 
the abstract or the God-like. You will say you deny only one part of human love 
but I think you are evading the question, for the physical is not only a very impor- 
tant but an essential part for the race." 

Lucile was not mistaken: it is quite natural for the physical act to play its 
part in the manifestation of human love. 

Neither was Teilhard wrong for he was fully aware of the power of "the 
feminine/' that force of attraction towards union, not only among human beings 
but for the whole universe. His conception of union between a man and a woman 
went far beyond physical union. Some men and women are called individually to 


FOREWORD live the love of God in a different way. By denying themselves certain material 
pleasure, they seek strongly to give themselves totally to a loving God. Teilhard 
X was one such person and everyone knows that he remained faithful until his 

Lucile was not incapable of realizing the true value of her friend never- 
theless. "What you are doing and what you have to offer is the most important 
thing in the world today." 

Teilhard left Peking at the end of March 1946. He settled in his room on 
the Rue Monsieur in Paris with the firm intention of resuming the scholarly activ- 
ities he had been pursuing before his [disciplinary] exile to China in 1926. An 
unexpected obstacle was to thwart his projects however. During the month of 
June 1947, he had a severe heart attack and, since his condition required extended 
hospital treatment, he entered a nursing home in the Rue Oudinot. I visited him 
frequently to see how he was getting on. 

Meanwhile Lucile had arrived in Paris from America. She was staying in 
the Auteuil district and had let Teilhard know that she would be coming to see 
him. The appointment came at the wrong moment; he was unfortunately other- 
wise engaged. 

Lucile discovered with bitterness that her friendship had been super- 
seded. The new friend was Rhoda, the former wife of Professor Hellmut de Terra, 
a scientist whose acquaintance Teilhard had made in Burma. 

Teilhard was anxious that his two friends should not meet. And to me 
was entrusted the job of explaining the situation to Lucile. She was extremely 
vexed but, with time, things settled down again. 

Teilhard's influence on Lucile did not have the effect that might have 
been expected. Intelligent and independent, she went on to follow a swami in 
Vedanta contemplation. Here is what Teilhard wrote to me on the matter: "Lucile 
has found peace of mind in a group directed by a Swami. In such circles spiritual- 
ity seems to me to be terribly vague. But is it not the only issue for countless peo- 
ple who do not manage to pierce that formidable, hardened, outer shell that 
theologians qualify by the name of orthodoxy?" 

Teilhard returned to America for the last time in the autumn of 1954. 
There in New York he found the ever-faithful Lucile. He died on the evening of 
Easter Sunday 1955 while talking with other guests who were also visiting at the 
New York home of Rhoda de Terra. 

January 1992 Pierre Leroy, S.J. 


Teilhard was an avid writer of letters—several thousand have been preserved. 
The present collection consists of more than two hundred letters or notes that he 
wrote to Lucile Swan and a selection from her replies and other writings. Apart 
from these letters of Teilhard, some were lost in the mails and some were 
destroyed by Lucile before her death; their contents and dates are not known. 
Most of the present letters were written in English; French passages have been 
translated; many letters were typed and many were not. They are published intact 
and exactly as written by Teilhard. 

Teilhard did not save the letters he received, so the originals of Lucile's 
letters are not extant. But shortly after she began typing letters, she made carbons. 
Carbons of about forty of her letters remain (it is not always clear whether some 
carbon pages comprise an additional letter); the first of these is dated March 1937. 
Only selections from her letters are included; additional passages have been 
included from her private writings to bring out her character, her work, and their 

Because of their many visits together, the letters tell only a part of their 
story. Some of this story is told in the entries from Lucile's Journal, her Line-a- 
Day, or in the notes that she sometimes wrote to herself. In these private writings 
she often addressed Teilhard, but it should be noted that in these she expressed 
her feelings more freely than in the letters she intended to send. She also retained 
several letters in which she believed she had spoken without sufficient reserve; 
selections from these are included. 

The friendship of Teilhard and Lucile changed through the years. We 
have decided to let their own words tell the story. We offer only minimum inter- 
pretations and so allow readers to reach their own understandings. But through it 
all we find two people who cared for one another and hurt one another in ways 
they did not intend. Their story gives significant insight into one of the great orig- 
inal thinkers of our century. 

Teilhard died in April of 1955 and Lucile died in May of 1965. Shortly 
before her death she left her Teilhard-related material to Mary Wood Gilbert, a 
much younger cousin who had spent time with her in France, Peiping, Washing- 
ton, and New York. This other material includes: a small bookstand of Teilhard's, 
photographs (some reproduced here), a collection of articles he had published 
(mostly small printings for private distribution in China— many translated into 
English by Lucile), Lucile's account of her friendship, her journal, day-book, car- 
bons of her letters, and a small picture of the Sacred Heart which Teilhard gave 
Lucile as she left Peiping in the summer of 1941. This collection is the basis of the 
following text The small editorial notes connecting the letters are based on the 
writings of Teilhard, selected biographies, and the personal memories of Mary 
Wood Gilbert. 



PREFACE These letters are published with the permission of Teilhard's family and 

the encouragement of his close Jesuit friend, Pierre Leroy. Pere Leroy was ninety- 
one years old in January of 1992 when he contributed the Foreword for this vol- 
ume; he died in France four months later. The volume editors have collaborated in 
writing the connecting passages. Karl Schmitz-Moormann has authenticated the 
textual accuracy. French passages in the letters have been translated into English 
by Madeleine Betz of American University with suggestions from Nicole Schmitz- 
Moormann. Many people have contributed identifications for the Guide to 
Indexed Names (page 304 of this volume). We thank them all. 

We are pleased to have been involved in producing this work. 

The Editors 


While not a Second Edition in the strict sense, this book does incorporate a few 
minor changes and corrections. In issuing this Edition our intention is to contribute 
in a lasting way to a growing body of studies of the thought and life of one of the 
most influential and original Jesuit thinkers and scientists of the last century. 

Richard W. Rousseau, S.J., Director 
University of Scranton Press 



In the twenty-eight years since Lucile's death I have tried many ways to get these 
letters before the public. In my view the correspondence leaves no doubt that Teil- 
hard remained true to his faith and to his religious vocation — an issue that was 
sometimes sensationalized and trivialized during his lifetime and after his death/ 
and one that Lucile was so determined to refute that she destroyed some of his 
letters since she felt they might be misunderstood. 

Among those good friends who encouraged me to pursue publication 
were Herbert Morton who helped me organize the material into a readable 
account. My friend and colleague, Dr. Edwin S. Kessler, suggested that I contact 
Father Angelo d'Agostino, S.J. He in turn arranged a meeting with Father Thomas 
M. King, S.J., of the Department of Theology at Georgetown University. 

From then on my hopes slowly became reality as Father King and Father 
John Breslin, S.J. together undertook to share my vision and publish these letters. 
To my several friends,both young and old, who helped me in the plodding work 
of proofing, etc., my heartfelt thanks for seeing me through the preparation of this 

August 1993 M.W.G. 


PROLOGUE: Memories ofLucile 

My association with Lucile Swan, my mother's cousin, began when she lived with 
us for a while in 1924 and later spent a winter with my family in the south of 
France. She and I, the grown woman and the young girl, became fast friends. 
Then, ten years later at Lucile's persuasion, my mother brought my brother and 
me to Peiping. Just as Lucile and many others had succumbed to the beauty and 
richness of the city, so did we. We too decided to stay on in the ancient, great city. 
So we rented a house and settled in. Old Peking had become Peiping and now it is 
Beijing. The walls that had divided the city into three parts — the Chinese, the 
inner city with the legations, and the Forbidden City— are gone now. Then the sky 
was clear, the air came fresh from the Gobi Desert, and at night the stars were so 
close they really seemed reachable. Rickshaws were the ordinary mode of trans- 
portation; coal stoves heated most homes; electricity was available only in the 
inner city; mail from Europe arrived two months old; wireless was the sole 
method for fast international communication; passage from America by ship took 
the better part of six weeks. 

The foreign population was various; it included the diplomatic corps, sci- 
entists, artists, photographers, explorers, tourists, and many people in business 
(tobacco, antiques, silks). There were also those contented sojourners like us, for 
whom Peiping remained one of the few cities unspoiled by modern life. The envi- 
ronment was not only exotic but one with a rich cultural heritage that offered 
stimulating associations among a people of ineffable vitality and an abundant 
sense of earthy humor. It was there that I eventually met Teilhard. 

When Lucile Swan and a friend, Betty Spencer (later Mrs. John Carter 
Vincent), first arrived in Peiping in 1929 they had found life interesting and 
easy— a sharp contrast to their lives in Chicago and New York (Lucile had lived in 
New York after the dissolution of her marriage of twelve years to a fellow artist in 
Chicago.) They decided to stay and soon moved together into a house with the 
usual Chinese "accoutrements" of those times— a cook, a cook's helper, a number 
one boy, and an amah. 

Shortly afterwards the two women met Teilhard at a dinner party, and 
later entertained him and their other new acquaintances. Lucile described the 
other guests of the evening as "drawn to his radiant and loving presence." 

At that first meeting in Peiping their conversation, destined to continue 
for twenty-five years, began with Lucile's query, "What kind of an -ologist are 
you?" Teilhard answered that the more deeply he went into science, the surer he 
felt there was a God. This firmly expressed conviction, coming from a paleontolo- 
gist-priest, laid open to her a new perspective for reconsidering beliefs she had 
not thought about since her days at an Episcopal boarding school in Sioux City, 
Iowa, where she had been born and reared. 

After Betty returned to the States to think over whether or not to marry 
young Vincent (a consular officer in the American Legation), Lucile settled into 



PROLOGUE another house where she was able to change part of the temple the Chinese own- 
ers had used for ancestor worship into her studio. There she modeled portraits in 
clay— studies of prominent Chinese and Westerners, as well as Chinese jugglers, 
sword dancers, and many other interesting passers-by. She was particularly apt in 
'catching' children. Later she was asked to make a reconstruction of Peking Man. 
She did under the supervision of Professor Weidenreich of the Peking Union 
Medical College. Using a cast of the skull, called "Nelly" by Teilhard and his fel- 
low scientists, Lucile modeled a head of the famed Pleistocene fossil. Unfortu- 
nately both were lost during the War. 

Sometime in 1933 Lucile asked Teilhard to sit for a portrait. She began a 
small head which, when finished, she did not like, and later destroyed it. He liked 
to talk while he posed, but Lucile found she could not follow his ideas and work, 
so they arranged to talk afterwards. Each day after the sitting, Number One Boy 
Wong brought tea. Later she described how Teilhard came to love the 'little King' 
in her copies of the New Yorker magazine, and she was surprised at how quickly 
he grasped the humor in this bit of Americana. She wrote in her diary: 

He so enjoyed all sides of life and had such capacity to live fully. Some- 
times after tea he would stay on until I was ready to go to a dinner party. 
He liked seeing the bright colored evening dress, but there was never the 
slightest sense of envy or unhappiness because he was not going also. 

For her, each of their walks in the park was a "revelation of insect and 
bird life." He imparted his knowledge so simply and clearly that it made every- 
thing ten times more alive and more meaningful. "Life is a constant discovery," he 
commented. When Teilhard said, "Everything we do is important because we are 
doing God's work," Lucile had a feeling of being part of it all and that "God 
would be always with me. That we were building something— always, all the 
time." She had begun her spiritual quest. 

When they were both in Peiping, tea-time conversations became a daily 
habit. In her little courtyard they talked constantly of ideas; and they watched tigs 
ripen on the potted trees and lettuce and tomatoes grow in the kitchen garden. On 
Saturdays they sometimes picnicked in one of the city's parks. Lucile started a 
second bust of P.T.— her nickname for him. This portrait is now in the Teilhard 
room in the Museum of Natural History in Paris. 

About 1935 she felt familiar enough with his ideas to articulate her reac- 
tions and opinions in one of her letters: 

I was deeply interested and sympathetic, and my very questions made 
him clarify his thought. I am not a Roman Catholic and so brought a dif- 
ferent point of view. So I would argue with him for my views, all of which 
was most helpful to him, and, after a certain amount of talk and reflec- 
tion, he would write another essay. He was amused to say he had pro- 
duced another "egg." And he always said it was my work too. This, of 
course, made me very proud and happy. He was like that with his Chi- 
nese science friends. Often he would write their entire article, but do it in 
such a way that they felt that they themselves had done it, and [they] 


would cheerfully sign it without a qualm. He had no need to insist on PROLOGUE 
"me" or "mine." It was the idea that was important. Now he could make 
the world more conscious of itself and its possibilities to grow and evolve 
with always Christ as the motivating power. 

In fact, she began to think that he was offering the Church a way towards 
a spiritual regeneration. At times she wondered aloud if he ought to leave the 
Church so that he could speak out and write freely. She reported his reply, "Per- 
haps there are some dead branches to the Church, but those will be taken away. 
The roots and the trunk are strong and healthy. Besides the Church is the only 
international organization that works." 

Teilhard would regularly bring a draft of what he had just written for her 
to read, and then he would explain and elaborate on it. Later, if it was in French, 
she would translate it. Then they would talk it over, and if it was clearly what he 
had intended to say, Teilhard would incorporate it into the whole of whatever 
paper he was writing. Lucile noted in her appointment book, Line-a-Day, that it 
was on June 13, 1940 that Teilhard brought her l'Homme, afterwards re-titled to 
Le PMnomfcne Humain. Lucile noted that "This was the work he had put his 
heart into and was the essence of all his writings. He was very happy about the 
book. I thought he felt this time there would surely be no objections and that it 
would be published." She said, "I was thrilled as I read it and every day we 
would discuss it and he would explain things to me." 

They had one point of difference which over time became a subject they 
often discussed as their friendship strengthened. For Lucile, physical consumma- 
tion was fundamental to the love between a man and a woman, a seal of what 
they felt for each other. Teilhard's consistent and continual response was a rejec- 
tion of this point of view, offering in its place a redirection of the energy of sexual 
union towards God. He did not deny the dynamics of love between a man and a 
woman, and he believed that such love, although unconsummated, could bring 
them to God. 

This was hard for a high-spirited woman such as Lucile to comprehend. 
To her love meant a physical expression of the body as well as of the heart and 
mind. Teilhard put the dilemma clearly when he wrote to her that she wanted 
love k deux while for him it could only be love h trois. I once asked Lucile if 
indeed there ever had been a physical confirmation. She replied, "Never." 

During the War while she was in Chicago I took drawing lessons from 
Lucile. And after World War II when I lived with my husband and child in Wash- 
ington where she had recently bought a house, we visited and walked together 
often. She spoke a good deal about Teilhard and his ideas, and speculated on the 
future— his and hers— and sometimes she read to me from his letters. When she 
moved to New York, I visited her frequently and was with her during her last ill- 
ness in 1965. It was then she gave me Teilhard's letters saying, "Do with these as 
you see fit, but I want my side known." 

In her last years Lucile had developed an interest in Vedanta in which she 
found many similarities to Teilhard's ideas. But not long before she died she told 
Swami Nikalananda, her mentor, that she had returned to her Christian faith. 


PROLOGUE During the twenty-eight years that have passed since Lucile's death I 

have read over these letters several times. At my first reading I had her admoni- 
tion very much in mind, for, after his death her friendship with Teilhard had come 
into question and, in some quarters as of little consequence. Rereading them 
brought out different perspectives on their appreciation of each other. Romantic 
that Lucile was, she hoped to reestablish the friendship as it had been— as did he, 
although he always recognized the constrictions that his vows placed upon him 
and in the last years the impositions of illness and age, as well. 

Reading over the letters also has sharpened my recollection of the one 
somewhat private time I spent with Teilhard. Sometime in the mid 1930s, when 
we were still living in Peking, I was invited to lunch with Jacques Bardac. We 
were three: Jacques, Teilhard, and myself. I was already acquainted with Teil- 
hard's ideas because the work at Chou Kuo Tien was well known and Lucile fre- 
quently talked about his religious-philosophical ideas. And, as youngsters at 
home, my brother and I had often heard our father affirm Darwin's theories. So, 
when the conversation turned away from France's gloomy political situation (the 
Leon Blum years) I asked Teilhard about early man in China. He was as respectful 
to a curious high-schooler as to a colleague or a friend. He answered me seriously 
and wittily and engaged me in understanding those complex scientific problems 
imaginatively. We were gay— a word I was later to read in many of his letters to 
my cousin whenever he found people or events amusing, happy or stimulating. 
Looking back on this brief meeting, I treasure the memory of having known 
him— slightly, for sure, but truly. 

A vignette from a friend of those times gives his impression of tea with 
Lucile and Teilhard. I quote from John Paton Davies: 

Like Paris and Florence of the same period, Peking in the 1930s attracted 
foreign artists, writers, and scholars. Among them was Lucile Swan, a 
sculptress from Chicago, by way of the South Pacific. She had left her 
husband on one of the French islands and was living in typical Peking 
fashion in a small house around a small courtyard behind a big red gate. 
Lucile was fine-featured, amply bosomed and hipped, perhaps in her 
mid-thirties and beloved by all who knew her. For she glowed with 
warmth and honest sentiment. 

On the several occasions that I went to tea at Lucile's house, there 
was present a Jesuit priest. I had known of him during my Yenching days. 
He was the eminent paleontologist who at that time had participated in 
identifying the fossil skull of sinanthropus pekinensis, the so-called Peking 
Man. His name was Teilhard de Chardin. 

Pere Teilhard was a lean, patrician priest. Not the patrician of 
Roman marble or glazed porcelain. Rather, the jagged visaged aristocrat, 
rough cast in bronze. Which is what Lucile was doing. 

We sat in her living room and talked, not of theology and not much 
of fossils or sculpture. We talked mostly of what are regarded as unim- 
portant things and were quite content with that. With these two, it is not 
precisely what they said so long ago that is fixed in the memory. What I 

sharply remember, really as a spectator, was the unspoken communication. PROLOGUE 
Shining from her face was Lucile's wordless affirmation that, withal (for 
there were lines of sadness by eyes and mouth), life was sweet and its xix 
delights were to be shared with friends to be cherished 

Pere Teilhard's face, a noble construction of rugged angles and 
furrows and a sensitive mouth, illuminated what he said And when he was 
silent it still uttered his moods, slowly sometimes, more often in flashes. He 
did not withdraw from those about him. He radiated outward to them 
gravely, merrily, inquiringly. And always with delicate consideration for the 
other and no concern for self. 

These letters speak to me now of the steadfastness with which both Lucile 
and Teilhard stood by their own individual values while trying to maintain their 
very real affection through a welter of distracting circumstances and conflicting 
emotions. In this age is it remarkable? Odd? Devotion is not a word often heard. 
They found the beauty of life in ways that were often not pragmatic. 

August 1993 M.W.G. 


The Letters of the China Years: 
from 1932 to 1941 

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin met Lucile Swan at a dinner party in Peiping in the 
Autumn of 1929. He was then forty-eight, a geologist, a French priest, and a Jesuit 
for thirty years. His doctoral studies in science had been interrupted by military 
service in World War I, during which time he developed the ideas that would later 
make him famous. In 1925 Church authorities had restricted publication of his 
religious and philosophical writings, but by 1929 he had gained international rec- 
ognition for his scientific work in China. Lucile had just come to Peiping; she was 
then thirty-nine, an American sculptress and portrait artist from Iowa. With her 
husband, also an artist, she had worked in Chicago, New York, and Paris and had 
traveled widely, but her marriage of ten years had ended in divorce. 

Lucile was immediately taken by Teilhard's gracious manner and ardent 
faith: "For the first time in years I felt young and full of hope again." She became 
part of the international community living in Peiping and met Teilhard at many 
social gatherings. Eventually Teilhard began regular visits to Mrs. Swan's home 
for afternoon tea. Teilhard's earliest extant letter to her is dated August 30, 1932. 

A bord du Porthos, August 30th, 1932 THEIR 

DearLucile, LETTERS 

Tomorrow morning, we are in Hongkong, — and then, for me, China is 
behind, —geographically, I mean —for, by the heart, I have not left Peiping, nor 

the small studio under the green trees. I hope that everything is external and 

internal smile, for you; and that, gradually, more light, and more inspiration, will 

for ever rise and grow inside of you. Useless to tell you how it has been 

sweet and strong for me that our paths have been crossing and joining, so unex- 
pectedly, where the East ends for me and the West for you. God did it, I hope, 

so that we could have more life for Him. 

Perfectly quiet journey, so far. A typhon has just been passing away, 
leaving behind a smooth sea and a cool breeze. I try to retake myself, and to think 
a bit, and to write. But who is living really, in the bottom of my soul? — the 
christian, the pagan, or the man? 

Yours ever 

Pierre T. de C. 

You know my address: Laboratoire de Paleontologie du Museum, 3 Place 
Valhubert (Paris V) 

Paris, October 20th, 1932 

Dear Lucile, 

To find yesterday, in the Museum, your letter of Sept. 10th was a real joy 
for me. That means so much to me to feel your frank and strong friendship in my 
life; and I like so much to hear from you what you do, and what you think, in the 
quiet recess of your small temple! What you tell me on myself in this letter, is 
that "my friendship is better than my ideas", I have already heard several times, 
told to me by other friends. But do you really think that, but for those ideas, I 
would be the same as you like? — and, from another hand, do you think, also, 
that the best season for philosophy is not the strongest, rather than the weakest 
time of the life? We shall discuss the matter again, under your ever-green trees, 
after a few months. In any way your art is, 1 think, the sacred thread which, if fol- 
lowed, will lead you to the light which will be yours, in the right time. 

My journey to France was quiet. Crossing the blue water of the Indian 
seas, I have written a few pages on the opposite oriental and occidental ways, in 
the quest of some divine Unity: "La Route de VOuest". Some of my last Essays, I 
am more and more sure by new experience, would rouse something more than an 
ordinary interest, if I could have them printed. But, in that direction, I don't 
expect much more than new difficulties. 

Otherwise, 1 am already taken, here, in a whirl of business and social 
relations; — and, once more, 1 realize how hard it is to conciliate individual truth 
and world's conventions. On the whole, 1 feel happy, if not always 

The underscores used for emphasis in many of the letters are reproduced exactly as they 
were written in the correspondence of the two friends. 

TEILHARD quiet — The work is going well — J was right, I think, in coming hack to Europe 
& LUCILE f or a wn \\ e% i W anted it, — brain and soul 

The last week, I had the great pleasure of meeting Jameson and Rose, in 
2 their small hotel, very close to my own place. We had a long chat, and agreed that 
we would perhaps feel better "at home", with you in Peiping. Jameson seems to 
be in very good form (his wife also), and extremely interested in his present life. 
Any news from you will be precious to me. 

Yours ever 


In the early days of their friendship they laughed a lot together. One source of their amuse- 
ment was the cartoon character of the Little King in the New Yorker magazine which Lucile 
explained in English and parlor French. They also laughed at the tricks her two white fox 
terriers performed for a share of the tea cookies and chatted about their friends. In this 
friendly atmosphere Teilhard allowed himself more and more freedom to discuss his ideas 
for his own clarification. He also soon found Lucile's responses and questions stimulated 
him to further probing, in fact, he began to call her his "sounding board". 


Paris, January 23th, 1933 

My dear Lucile, 

Just a word, — but a word deep from my heart, — in answer to your let- 
ter of the Dec. 11th (which I have received today) — and also to your other letter 
of November 22th, — which I have left so long on my desk without any written 

answer. I plan to leave France the next Febr. 10th, via Suez, on the s.s. Ara- 

mis . But I wish you will receive the present letter a few days in advance to me, as 
a last greeting from France, and the first new of my coming back. — You are right, 
of course. In spite of the fact that the true ideas are living beings, their spring is 
something better still. This is the reason for which I strongly believe that the 
most essential and everlasting part of the world is made of our souls, and that 
the common center of the souls is a still brighter and loving soul 

So, my "holidays" are quickly shifting away. Holidays? or rather a 
whirl, — one of those whirls which, I strongly (or desperately?) believe, are the 
necessary path of the man towards some higher spiritual countries in the Uni- 
verse. — Nevertheless, I was right coming back to France. You will find me just 
the same, I hope, — perhaps a bit wiser, — but not cooler. — I have met Davidson 
Black and Mrs Black, in London, last December. — Mrs. Jameson is still here, I 
think; — her husband busy and happy in Cambridge. 

Excuse, please, these hurried lines. I am so glad to see you again. 

Yours ever 
P. Teilhard 

By early summer Teilhard was back in Peking where he worked until leaving for a scien- 
tific congress to be held in the United States in June. Probably it was during this pre-con- 
gress period that Lucile asked Teilhard to sit for a portrait. They began meeting regularly in 
her studio in the afternoons so she could maintain a sense of continuity in her modeling. It 

was also an opportunity for them to expand their friendship since he talked while she THEIR 
worked. In effect, his thinking aloud revealed facets of his personality that Lucile tried to 1932-41 
catch in the clay. LETTERS 

These meetings-for-a-purpose established a rhythm continued over the years, 
long after this first small bust was finished — which, because Lucile was not pleased with 3 
it, she ultimately destroyed. However, in 1937 she did complete a larger head which satis- 
fied her. It is now in the Teilhard Room of the Natural History Museum in Paris. 

Peiping, June 20th, 1933 

Dear Lucile, 

God bless you for your kindness and the treasure of your friendship. In 
return I pray Him to make me a pure light for you. 

Dont worry because I am wandering. 

I think that, for being perfect (and esthetic . . .) a friendship has to be har- 
monized so well with the conditions of both friends that it does not interfere 
with, but achieve, the line of the life of each of them. 

And I think also that it grows ever stronger and sweeter when both, at 
the price of some sacrifices, are just helping each other to become closer to some- 
thing divine above. 

Be happy, and goodbye 



s.s. President Coolidge Sunday 26th* June, 1933 

Dear Lucile, 

Just now (5 p.m.) our boat is skirting the first small islands of the Japa- 
nese coast: steep, woody, rocks emerging from the sea as a sunk range. Yesterday, 
we travelled in the fog. Today, an autumnal sun is shining over a perfectly 
smooth sea. This is a good start. — We are all well on board: the "three wise men 
of the East" (Dr. Grabau, Ting, and myself), the Star, and Homer, — very gay, of 
course. The boat is most luxurious, indeed, — and not crowded so far, — so that 
we can enjoy an enormous place for walking, reading and talking. —Asa matter 
of fact, those charming conditions are not the best ones for an intellectual or 
internal work. I hope however, when we leave Japan, to manage my daily occupa- 
tions in a more methodical way. By mere chance, I hit this morning in an 

official document on the crudest possible expression of what I believe to be the 
fundamental mistake in the present mind of my Church: the very divide between 
the past and the future world; — something, clearly set, which I can not accept, 
and which I believe to be "illeptime" because an important alternative is over- 
looked. That gave me a kick. And I think I will write something down which can 
make the battlefield clear. No, I am not yet at the end of my road. But God has to 
help me. Truth does not break anything, 1 believe. 

Teilhard absent-mindedly dated this letter June 26th although the ship was apparently off- 
shore Japan on a different day. 

TEILHAKD Nothing new, besides. The journey down to Shanghai was very easy, 

&LUCILE xhank to the American Express, — and Grabau is in a very good spirit Mrs 

Woodland also, of course. So far, nobody interesting seems to be with us on the 

4 boat. But, after a few days, we will probably make some discovery. 

Are you happy? — working? One of the charms of this trip is that I travel 

with a return ticket to Peiping. — You can send me a word to S. Francisco for the 

8th September, do the Dollar Line, on the same "President Coolidge". 

I will write you from Honolulu 



s.s. President Coolidge July 3d, 1933 

Dear Lucile, 

Day after to morrow, we are due to Honolulu. Just a few lines, here, for 
making you sure that I will not forget you, amongst the palms and the flowers! 

Perfectly good and smooth journey, so far. The weather is a bit windy, — 
but the sky scarcely cloudy, — and the water so deep blue that you would "y 
tremper vos pinceaux". — Everything right, on board. But very few interesting- 
looking passengers. Practically we are living apart, we five; and most of the other 
groups are doing the same. Dr. Grabau looks in very good form. And Mrs. Wood- 
land decided she had to stop immediately her breakfast, so quickly she would 
have become fat. — On the whole, we are perfectly idle. For my part, I wrote only 
a few letters and typed a short scientific paper. — In spite of this, I have the 
obscure feeling that something is moving or growing inside of me: as if, in the 
course of this new period of complete freedom, the true "myself was escaping a 
little more, still, from a world of conventions. This new and direct, contact with 
the Unbelief of the world makes me more sharply conscious of what I believe 
(strongly) and what I do no more believe (equally strongly). — But what to make 
out of that? — How to propagate, in my condition, the sparkle I believe to feel in 
myself? — / dont see. But I wait, and I watch. — My dearest faith is that some- 
thing Loving is the deepest essence of the growing Universe. 

This letter will reach you shortly before you start for Dairen. Good luck! 
— lam sure you will like twice more your Pekinese house when you come back to 
it. And I shall be so happy when I, also, will enter it again. 

I will send you a few news from Washington. 


During his travels, Teilhard worked on several scientific essays and reports that he was 
preparing for publication — eight altogether in France and in China during 1933. Most, but 
not all of these, were brief papers, but they included the well-known, illustrated memoir 
that he and Davidson Black wrote together. Entitled Fossil Man in China — The Chow-Kou 
Tten Knowledge of the Late Cenozoic in China, it also lists Chung-Chien Young [Yang] and 
Wen-Chung Pei as collaborators in the work. 

New York, July 16th, 1933 THEIR 
DearLucile, 1932 ' 41 

I arrived in New York day before yesterday, after a very quiet transconti- 
nental journey. In San Francisco we did not stop but a few hours (from 9 a.m. to 6 
p.m.), spent, in a nice little cottage, with old Pekinese friends (Mrs. Berry-Barker, 
the former "home-lady" of Dr. Grabau). In Ogden, [Utah] we parted from Grabau 
and Mrs. Woodland, on their way for the Yellowstone Park (!?). And, in Chicago, 
I did not stay more than a short time (from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.). But, after doing some 
work in the Field Museum, I had two hours spare for calling at the Newbury Hotel 
in which I was so glad to meet your father and your mother, who were exceedingly 
nice with me (may I confess you that one of my best pleasures was to discover 
there a photograph of you, made some IS years ago, but on which you look just as 
yourself now). I found your parents in very good conditions, exactly as you de- 
scribed me, — your mother so young under her white hair, and your father so full 
of life. I tried to make them understand, as much as possible, your present life, 
your work, your friends. And I went away with the absurd wish to find in the 
street a rickshaw which could drive me straight back to you. — J left Chicago one 
day before the Balbo's arrival, — and, from the Fair, I did not see but the fantastic 
light, along the railway. On my way back, I shall possibly visit more. 

Here, in New York, I have met again, with a real joy, several of my dear 
friends of the Natural History Museum: Granger, etc. But Roy has left a fortnight 
ago, for Moskow, where he tries to start a combined Russo-american Expedition 
in Russian Turkestan. He curses probably the Japanese duplicity still more than 
the Chinese association "for the preservation of antiquities". — Several french 
friends (brought here by the [scientific] Congress) are reported here; but I did not 
see them, so far. — I expect Grabau here in two or three days. I did not like, posi- 
tively, to see him wandering in the Yellowstone with Mrs. Woodland alone (he is 
so slow, and so heavy!). Hope that everything went well. — 

Here, I am living in a nice home of my Order, close to the Hudson River, 
at 50 meters from Broadway. This is supposed to be the intellectual center of my 
Society in New York. They know me more than I would have supposed, — and 
yesterday I had to talk hours on the most delicate matters. I did it cautiously, but 
frankly. One at least of the Fathers is able to understand, and to spread, what I 
think. It was some comfort for me to meet with such a friendly and sympathic 
group of confreres. This is the true spirit of my church, — very different from the 
stiff and timorous mind of Roma. And America is far from being (on the whole) a 
progressive intellectual part of my Order! That gives me some hope. But in the 
same time, that makes me a bit "melancolique" to think what I could do if I was 
allowed to print my best papers. Those people do not know me but by almost 
insignificant parts of my work. God knows better, I suppose. 

We are on Sunday. Friday, the Congress opens here, and then we go to 
Washington [the District of Columbia, U.S.AJ. — Hope that you are going, your- 
self, to leave for Dairen. — Be happy. — You know that I don't forget you. 

Yours ever 


TEILHARD [a postcarcfl Flagstaff (Arizona) Aug. 5th, 1933 

CORRESPOND Splendid excursion, with excellent friends. I don't forget Peiping! — Left 

Grabau in good conditions at Washington, after successfull Congress. — We meet 

6 again on the beginning of September at San Francisco. 


Areata, Calif. August 16th, 1933 

Dear Lucile, 

I don't remember exactly whether 1 have sent you a word from Washing- 
ton. In any way, you have received, 1 hope, my letter from New York (after my 
visit to your family in Chicago). Every thing is going all right, since that time. 
Presently, I write to you from a small town, near Eureka, on the Pacific coast. 
Just the sea between me and you. Are you "wise" and happy? I hope so. — I left 
the Congress party three days ago, in the "John Day Basin", the most wild part of 
Central Oregon. They are going to the Yellowstone, and back to the East. Myself, 
I took a place in the small car of a Chaney's student; and we are driving, both of 
us towards San Francisco, along the marvelous "Redwood highway": a good 
road, skirting the sea, amongst splendid groves of huge sequoia trees, 500 to 800 
years old in average. 1 was specially anxious to get in touch with the geology of 
the Coast Ranges, — and this is a wonderful opportunity. Tomorrow, we are due 
to San Francisco. I will stay at Berkeley University [University of California at 
BerkeleyJ, — and spend there the three weeks after which the President Coolidge 
will take me back to Shanghai (leaving the Sept. 8th). — 1 left Dr. Grabau and 
Mrs W. in Washington, — both in excellent conditions. 1 expect them in S.Fran- 
cisco on the Sept. 4th. — The meeting between Dr. Grabau and his wife and 
daughter seems to have been a success. I will explain it to you longer, in a conver- 
sation. — Washington proved to be very hot and moist, and we had to search 
comfort in beer and ice-cream. In spite of it, I enjoyed really the place; and the 
Congress was very brilliant [the International Convention of Geologists, in 
1933]. — On the July 30th, I left to the West, with a very pleasant party (40 peo- 
ple) including several good french friends. We had three cars (two Pullman and a 
special car for bagage, bath, etc.) for ourselves, — a real moving home. We went 
by St. Louis, Kansas City, Flagstaff, Los Angeles, S.Francisco, Klamath Falls fa 
city in S. Oregon], and Eugene (Oregon). The four days spent in the "painted 
desert" and the Grand Canyon, the two days in Crater Lake (Ore.), and the cross- 
ing of the Cascade Range amidst the forest of pines, close to high volcanoes clad 
with snow and ice, were the best parts of the way. — I felt a bit blue in parting 
from my friends; but now I look forward, to Peiping, — and to you. 



[a postcard] s.s. President Coolidge Sept. 11th, 1933 

Dear Lucile, 

I will send to you this card from Yokohama, day after tomorrow. May 
those lines bring you quickly my deepest feelings of friendship, and my joy of see- 


ing you again, soon. — We are due to Shanghai on the Sept 29th. I plan to stay THEIR 
there a few days, and to reach Peking on about the October 5th. Dr. Grabau and |^ 2 ^ 
Mrs. Woodland are on board, both in excellent condition. 

Yours ever 

Pierre T. 

Thank you so much for your letter in S.Francisco 

When Teilhard returned to Peiping, Lucile apparently was hoping still for some physical 
confirmation of their friendship. But Teilhard wrote the first of the many letters which 
explain why their friendship would be different. 

[Peking] November 14th, 1933 

Lucile, my dear friend 

The other day, you told me that, under a certain respect, you "did not 
understand me". Those words made me thinking a good deal. Because "not under- 
standing" means sometimes suffering, or at least walking in the dark. Then, I 
must try to express myself more clearly, for the sake of your happiness. 

The fundamental bearing of my life, you know it, is to prove to the others 
and firstly to myself, that the love of God does not destroy, but exalt and purify 
any earthly power of understanding and loving. I dream going to God under the 
pressure of the strongest and the wildest spirits of the world. 

That will explain you, perhaps why, when I met you, I accepted you as a 
marvellous gift. I thought (as I still more think now) that I had found a wonder- 
ful thing, which would help me to live more intensely, — so that I could give 
myself more efficiently to the divine work of enlarging the World around me. 
Thus I can be yours, really yours, in getting more spirit from you, and ingrowing 
into a same spirit with you. 

But because your friend, Lucile, belongs to Something Else, he cannot be 
yours — (and you would find very few left in him, of what attracts you, if he tried 
to be yours) — just and merely for being momentarily happy with you. 

Do you remember a thought expressed in the short page I gave you when 
coming back from America: ". . . to conquer the things, not for merely enjoying 
them, but for converging with them into something or somebody ever higher". 

I know that I must look queer, or illogical sometimes. Why to take this 
and not that. And if I do not take that r why not to stay like the others, confined 
in a cell? 

Just because I am so foolish as to try to discover a new path, — along 
which the World might breathe. 

Well for me. But what of the other? the other who perhaps does not see 
nor feel the same Star as mine. Am I not making her suffering, by a subtle selfish- 
ness of mine? — Do I really help her (as I would so much!) to be more full, free 
and happy?— - 

Sometimes, you will answer me. 


TE1LHARD With the 1933 Christmas and New Year's festivities over, the sculptress resumed work in 
&LUCILE her Peking studio and the scientist set out to do fieldwork in and around Kwangshi in 
CORRESPOND southeast China. 


On board, Jan. 7th, 1934 

[Dollar Steamship Lines] 

Lucile, dear, 

Coming on the boat, day before yesterday, I had the joy of finding your 
Utter, which is with me as a dear perfume of the best of Peking. I thank you so 
deeply for what you tell me. Yes, my dream is that we could be a little like a star, 
each for the other, by the presence, and just so much in the absence. A star, leading 
to the best of the Unknown, in front of us. You know how much I feel that the 
only important work in the World is the discovery (or rather the creation) of the 
Future. Now, can it be a more vital line in such a progress than to discover a new 
path and a new ground for the power of love? — Let us go ahead, the hand in the 
hand. The only danger, I think, would be, for us, to hope too little, and to trust 
insufficiently. — 

/ will send you this letter from Hongkong, where we are due tomorrow 
morning. Our plan is to go to Canton directly, by rail As soon as I know some- 
thing precise about our departure for the Kwangsi, I will drop you another word. 

Everything all right, so far. We spent two days in Shanghai (the boat was 
a little delayed), — and still I had scarcely the time for seeing my friends. I met 
Lejay, — an extremely nice man, in spite of his nerves. And, before leaving, I had a 
very pleasant lunch to the Mac Hughes, with Petro and Barbara (who are living 

The weather is a bit cloudy, but the sea perfectly calm. Gradually, I dress 
in a more and more light clothes. — And yet, you are still under the healthy frost 

Be happy, dear and precious friend, — and if ever you have the impression 

of any shadow, during those weeks, — just laugh at it. There is light, and 

only light, in front of us. 


Lucile often challenged Teilhard on his chastity; in February 1934, Teilhard wrote an essay 
in response: "The Evolution of Chastity" (see Toward the Future, New York: Harcourt Brace 
Jovanovich, 1975, pp. 60-87). He began by claiming that chastity is the most sublime mani- 
festation of all religions, but he finds the value of chastity poorly formulated for the mod- 
ern world. He tells of a doubt originating in his own experience and magnified by the 
many sincere people he knew who saw no value in the restrictions of asceticism. Teilhard 
argued that asceticism could be justified only in so far as it developes into a mysticism. 

In this essay Teilhard claimed that the energy of our interior life has roots of a pas- 
sionate nature. "It is from man's storehouse of passion that the warmth and light of his soul 
arise, transfigured." So when a man approaches a woman he finds he is "enveloped in an 
indistinct glow of illumination." Should this love reach physical fulfillment, an inner flame 
will leap up to God; so the spiritual potentialities of passion are achieved. But Teilhard 
remains wary, for it seems "a sort of 'short-circuit' is produced in the dazzling gift of the 
body— a flash which burns up and deadens a portion of the soul." 

But when there is "no physical contact/' there is "convergence at a higher level." THEIR 
So chaste "lovers are obliged to turn away from the body, and so seek one another in God." 1932-41 
He tells of having "been through some difficult passages" in maintaining his chastity. But LETTERS 
he believed he was not thereby diminished. This was the love he proposed to Lucile. The 
essay ends with a much quoted passage: "Someday when men have conquered the winds, 9 
the waves, the tides, and gravity, they will harness for God the energies of love, and then, 
for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire." 

While working on the essay Teilhard wrote to a friend assuring him he was not 
writing "monologues in abstracto." He explained that these reflections on chastity are "the 
best I could tell myself and the other when three or four times in my life for long periods I 
was up against the wall (Lettres intimes, Paris: Aubier-Montaigne, 1973, pp. 263, 275). 

March 9th, 1934 

Lucile, my dear friend, 

Reading your letter has been one of the most precious minutes in my life. 
It was not only a "nice", but a glorious letter. You have entered more deep than 
ever, as an active seed, the innermost of myself You bring me what 1 need for car- 
rying on the work which is before me: a tide of life. 

But, just because you are for ever such a dear treasure for me, I ask you to 
do your best for not building too much your material, or external, life, on me. You 
and I, we are two wild birds on the Mother Earth. May be, for years, our paths are 
going to run close to each other. May be, also, the wind is going to separate our 
external ways. . . 

Sometimes, I think I would like to vanish before you into, some thing 
which would be bigger than myself, — your real yourself, Lucile, — your real life, 
your God. And then I should be yours, completely. — Keep free of myself, ifpossi- 
ble, Lucile, in having me. 

Anyhow, if those things seem still to you too difficult, or too far away, — 
don't worry, and let the Life and the Light work quietly in you. Just try to keep 
the direction straight. And be patient (even with yourself), peaceful, and happy. 
— I know that what is born between us is to live for ever. 


Shortly after Teilhard returned from the field in 1934, Lucile had to go to Shanghai in order 
to see her mother off for the States. (Mrs. Charles Swan had been visiting her daughter in 
Peking for several months.) 

Peking, March 13th, 1934 

Lucile, my dear friend, 

Since you have left, three days ago, we had clouds, snow, and then an icy 
dust-wind. — And because you have left, 1 had a bit to fight for keeping my inside 
bright and warm. But this is only, I know, a passing depression. Close, or far, you 
are essentially for me brightness in the life, — a mere light, — as your name, in 
Latine, means. I hope that in the south, you have escaped any shadow, and that 
Shanghai is nothing but sunny, for you. — Might, tomorrow, the parting with 
your mother not be too hard for you! 

TEILHARD My personal plans seem now to be settled as follows. Today I go to Tien- 

& LUC1LE f sl - rt . I come back to Peiping on Saturday. On thursday 22nd I leave to Shanghai 
by the same train of 8 a.m. as you. Then I stay in Shanghai, up to the 27th (arrival 
1Q of Barbour). Then 1 don't know. But 1 will write to you again, before. — Evi- 
dently, we cannot join. Our trains will probably cross each other, somewhere. — 

But we shall meet here again, — before long, and pick up together the fruits 

of the absence. 

When we parted, you observed that I looked somewhat "un-personal". 
That is probably true. The reason of it, I think, is that, when I look at you, I am 
searching something in y ou f which is deeper than you, — and which however is 
the very essence of you. But I don't believe that doing so (this is the only way in 
which 1 am able to look at anything in the world), I am missing anything in you. 

Nor do you, I think, miss anything in me. 

Nothing else, besides. Did not see anybody, but Grabau and Black 

So much yours 


P.S. I have open the box containing the special edition of "La Croisiere Jaune". A 
very luxurious book, with pictures largely different from those of the small edi- 
tion. A large picture of me. You shall see. 

Yesterday, in afrench review, I found those lines, from the well known 
Paul Valery: 

"La valeur vraie de V amour est dans "The true value of love is in the growth 

Vaccroissement de vitalite generale of the general vitality that it may give. 

qu'il peut donner. Tout amour qui ne Any love that does not release this 

degage pas cette energie est mauvais. energy is wrong. This suggests that this 

Ceci suggere qu'il faut utiliser ce fer- sexual ferment should be used for new 

merit sexuel vers desfins nouvelles. Ce purposes. That which was believed to 

qui croy ait n' avoir a f aire que des horn- be there to generate human beings 

mes tourne a faire des actes, des oeu- turns to generate acts, works. Produc- 

vres. Production, apres reproduction/' tion, after reproduction." 

Is that not exactly what we have so often told? — / know very well Valery. But I 
don't remember to have discussed this matter with him. 

Peking, March 18th, 1934 

Lucile, dear friend, 

I send to you these few lines, a tout hasard, in the hope that they will 
reach you in the south. Yesterday, coming back to Peiping, I found with joy your 
precious letter of the 12th. I received it in my heart and in my mind. Yes, I feel sure 
that they are great prospects for us, in front. If I can give you something, you, in 
turn, you can help me and complete me, not only by the warm light of yourself, 
but also by your keen and strong sense of the reality. You have still to teach me a 
lot of things. And may be we shall do something for "dematerializing" a little the 
Matter around us. 

I feel deeply, today, this necessity for saving the world from its material THEIR 

darkness. You know already that Dr. Black passed away, day before yesterday. 
The apparent absurdity of this premature end, — the stoical, but blind, accep- 
tance of this fate by the surrounding friends, — the complete absence of "ligh t" on \\ 
the poor body lying in the ice-room of the P.U.M.C., have deepened my grief, and 
revolted my mind. — Either there is an escape, somewhere, for the thought and 
the personality, — or the world is a tremendous mistake. And we must stop. — 
But, because nobody will admit that we must stop, — then, we must believe. To 
awake this belief must be, more than ever, my duty. I have sworn it to myself, on 
the remains of Davy, more than a brother, for me. 

The end was nice, and simple. Black had the fallacious impression of get- 
ting much better. He had come to the Laboratory, seen several friends, talked 
cheerfully. Then, when he was alone, he passed away, close to his desk, between 
his maps and its fossils. Absurd, or wonderful. 

Now, we try to save the boat. I have, for a part, to take the rudder. Dr. 
Greene asked me to do so. — The first clear thing is that we have to go on. The 
plans will not be altered. Most probably I will go to Shanghai (may be arriving 
on the 24 only), and we shall try to make the trip Nanking-Hankow. — In the 
meantimes, we shall search somewhere in the world an anthropologist for the 
study of our material. Every day, probably, the depth of the loss we have made 
will become more apparent. 

But you will help me. 

Be happy, and sure of me. 

(I suppose you have received my letter of last Tuesday). 

Teilhard put aside his own work to serve as acting head of the RU.M.C.S laboratory until 
the Rockefeller Foundation sent out a replacement for Davidson Black. 

Peiping, March 21th, 1934 

Lucile, my dear friend, 

I have received this morning your two letters from Shanghai. I knew you 
were with me, during those sad days, — and I felt stronger. "God bless you" as 
used to say sometimes dear Davy. 

I write those few lines in the P.U.M.C., and I will bring them at your gate, 
— which I did even not see since you left. — I wish that you should have a proof 
of my thinking of you, when you come back in your home. 

I leave tomorrow morning. — Are we going to cross each other? — any- 
how, as you say, we are always close, and closer. 




TE/LHARD [RS J Mrs. Hempel will let you have the large edition of "La Croisiere Jaune". — 
& LUCILE (look at fa en df or my picture!) 


Shanghai, March 29th, 1934 

Lucile, dear friend, 

Last Saturday, arriving in Shanghai, I found your letter, waiting for me. 
So, our paths have crossed in Nanking. I think I felt it, when I passed there! — 
Anyhow, I am glad you have enjoyed your trip. And I enjoy thinking that you are 
now back to your little home, under the trees. It is more easy for me to see you, in 
my imagination, in those familiar surroundings, — in the studio. And the pros- 
pect of coming back to your gate will be as a brillant spot before me, in the course 
of the present journey. 

I have been rather busy, here. And I am still in this tedious period of dis- 
cussing and preparing things. I would like to be already somewhere on the field. 

— Barbour has arrived two days ago. We plan to leave to morrow (or perhaps 
day after tomorrow), for Hangchow probably, then Nanking, then Kulin, then 
possibly Hankow. But this programm depends on so many people outside of our- 
selves that it is subject to alterations. — In any ways, we shall not be more than 
4 or 5 weeks absent from Peking. — You will probably observe that it is a rather 
long time. — But, as I told you, this survey of the Yangtze is probably the most 
important piece of my work this year. I have to do it nicely, —-for me, — and for 
you. I shall feel more eager and happy, thinking that your approval is on me. 

From the Geological Survey's side, things do not improve. Conditions of 
Dr. Wong have recently turned to be worse. He got a strong fever, for unknown 
reasons. Yesterday, I have seen Dr. Dieuaide, back from Hangkow. He is still hop- 
ing. But the case is very serious. The coming of Barbour is a providential thing, — 
specially for me. He has got a clear mind, an exact knowledge of the Chinese, and 
he is deeply devoted to our work. We have to take largely the control of the ship, 
this year. — Another thing I like in Barbour is that we agree perfectly, although 
tacitely, he and myself, in our views on the deep and divine meaning of the world. 

— Impossible, so far, to come in touch with V.K.1ing, —now in Hangkow. 

We had a terrible weather here: cold, rainy, windy. This morning, how- 
ever, the sun is shining. So are you. 

I shall write you, the next week, from Nanking. My mail will be sent 
therefor a while. - May the Eastern joy and youth be with you! 



I have received a very nice invitation from Mrs. Mac Hugh, — but could not man- 
age for going Tunsing Road. 

[a wire from Shanghai] March 30th, 1934 
We leave tomorrow, for Nanking directly 

Nanking, April 5th, 1934 THEIR 
Lucile, dear friend, LETTERS 

We left Shanghai last Saturday, — and since that time, we are working in 
the Nanking area. The three last days have been used in a somewhat longer trip to 23 
the Mao-shan, some 50 miles south-east Using a "bus", we reached rather easily 
the proximity of the mountain. But then we had to use several more primitive 
ways for proceeding; chair, and chiefly foot. Two nights spent in a rather homely 
inn at the very foot of the Mao-shan. There is a famous temple on the top and we 
came at the very time of the pilgrimage. Hundred of peoples, coming up and 
down, — often in chair, — bringing yellow wreaths or childish objects, and also 
sticks: like in the Miao-fan-han. — / enjoyed very much the country, which we 
could see, at least one day, under a bright sun. The rocky hills, emerging from the 
flat rice fields spotted with pools, were positively poetical I liked specially, 
along the slopes, the small houses, almost clean, conceiled in the middle of bam- 
boo groves, amidst pink or red peach-trees. A few weeks later, the country must 
be lovely. I include in this letter an iris flower which was so nice when I picked it 
up, for you, on the Mao-shan slopes. 

The work itself is highly interesting. I enjoy deeply to study, and to try 
to understand, a China which is entirely new for me. Barbour is a great friend, 
and a keen physiographist fa geologist specializing in topography). We have, he 
and myself, quite a different way of grasping the facts. But that is precisely an 
advantage. — We are probably going to stay here 4 or 5 days more. And then we 
shall proceed to Kiukiang and Kulin. But, for doing this, we have to wait for], S. 
Lee fa Chinese colleague and a paleontologist], who has not yet written, from 

My life is presently concentrated on gravels, terraces, topographical sur- 
faces, etc. But you know that, for me, merging in those material things means 
only getting a fresher contact with the roots of the spirit. — The "spirit" is 
always there, and you. with Him. And I feel that I am, in spite of the absence, 
coming closer to both. 

I hope that you are happy, and happily working. My mail will be 

sent herefrom the survey those days. 

Yours deeply 


Nanking, April 10th, 1934 

Lucile, dear friend, 

Your letter sent to Shanghai missed me (I will find it in Tientsin). But the 
last one (April 7th) came here one hour ago. And it was very sweet for me, to read 
it. I like you so much, Lucile. And you are so "straight" and courageous. I feel 
stronger and better, because you like me. And you are very powerful for giving me 
the light and the strength I need, — just because you are so frank, and because 
you understand me. Not to feel alone internally is the best of the life, isn't? - I 
have been pleased, and a little amused, that you should enjoy my wild face in the 
Croisiere Jaune. I will positively write Williams to send me a copy for you. 

TEHHARD A real joy for me was to know that you have started again your regular 

& LUCILE an( i working Ufa / wonder which is going to be your next artistic inspiration. I 

shall see it amidst your blooming flowers. — Go on in your art, and in everything 

14 [that] is beautiful. But try to reach the bottom of its attraction and of its value. 

Then you will be very close to your God. 

1 write you rather in a hurry. Barbour is packing and talking around my 

room. We are leaving to morrow morning. A first stop in Nganking; — another 

one (the important one) in Kiukiang (near Ruling). Then probably Hankow. And 

then Ta-Tien-Shui-Ching Htg! -— You can write me at the Central Post office 

(Poste restante) Hankow for the 22th or the 23th. — I will send you a note from 

the chief stations (Hinkiang and Hankow). The work is developing well. But 

I realise that it is sometimes delicate to deal with the Chinese "susceptibilite". 

Yours so deeply 


April 20th, 1934 

Lucile, dear friend, 

I write you on a boat, on the Yangtze. A lovely morning, sunny, with a 
touch of fog on the low hills. We are due this afternoon to Hankow, — that means 
to the Kinhan railway. I wish to have a letter ready, which I can send you imme- 
diately. Maybe I will also find a word of you, at the Post-office. 

Since I wrote you, we have been going on, according our plan. A first stop 
at Nganking, — an another, longer one, in Kiukiang, — which we have left yester- 
day evening. /. S. Lee had joined us in Kiukiang. Under his direction W. had an 
excellent trip to Kulin, — just at the end of the cold weather. When we reached 
the top of the Lu-shan, all the trees were still covered by a thick sheet of ice. But 
the sun was already there. And the most part of our visit we had spring, or even 
summer days. The Kulin mountains are really impressive, some 1,400 meters high, 
and set between large lakes. You would have enjoyed the sight of the slopes, cov- 
ered with pine-trees, oaks, and large bamboos. The hills were pink, or purple, or 
yellow, with blooming azales, rhododendrons and wild lilacs; and the "cigales" 
[cicadas/ were singing just as in June, in Peiping. The flower 1 enclose here for you 
is a nice clematite, picked up along the shores of the Poyang lake. 

We have been walking a good deal, all those days. Some 20 or 30 kilome- 
ters each day, and not in aflat country! — / was surprised to find myself so little 
tired. In fact, those days of work are rather an excellent rest for me. — We spent 
two nights in very picturesque temples. But the food was rather terrible. In Kulin, 
happily, there is an excellent foreign hill* 

The work is much interesting. We could not decide, of course, whether Lee 
is right or not, with his theory of a glaciation of the Lushan. The features are 
rather equivocal. But the formations are really big, and extensive. And I am 
learning a lot in Chinese geology. 

Teilhard probably meant to write "foreigners hotel." 

Our plans in Hankow are still vague. I suppose we are going to stay there THEIR 
a week, — trying to build there a geological base. — But Peiping is not far away, ^ 2 " 41 
anyhow. I will still write you when we have decided. — 

And I feel that, on my return, I will realize still more how a precious 35 
friend you are. 


Teilhard was in Peking only a short time before he left again to make a trip up the Yangtze. 

Hankow, May 16th, 1934 

Lucile, my dear friend, 

It was a little distressing for me also, two days ago, to leave you. So, 1 
went on, bringing with me your so precious letter, and now I want to answer it, 
from a Chinese hotel, in which we got stranded (somewhat by our own fault) yes- 
terday evening. Your fan is beside me (a very useful thing), and I smoke a Chester- 
field. Is not the atmosphere complete? — A very slight outer appearance of what 
you give me so completely inside, Lucile? - Yes, all this time, — and ever — / 
know, — I feel, that, in spite of the miles, your presence is with me, — or, still 
more truly, — in. me. I enjoy this idea (perfectly "scientific", I believe) that dis- 
tance does not exist but for what we call "matter". Gradually, — and according 
the proportion of a mutual love, — the spiritualized elements of the world are 
converging into a common and deeper center, in which nothing whatever can sep- 
arate them. There I will find you, during those few weeks of absence. I know, this 
time, you had the harder part: staying, when the other leaves. I am certain how- 
ever that, after the first moments are over, you will chiefly feel the strength, and 
the peace, of the unbreakable thing which has grown between us. And you will be 
still more rich and yourself when we meet again. 

The journey, between Peking and Hankow, was perfectly quiet, — not too 
hot And so far, here, we have no rain. But everything is rather warm and damp. 
People say, here, that the heat is exceptional, and will not last very long. All 
right —Anyhow, we plan to leave for Ichang no later than tomorrow night — 
Hit's afternoon, we must go to the Wuchang University, where Young and Barbour 
will give a short lecture. This is a regular "corvee", — because the University is 
far. — But we can not avoid it — 

On the train, I exhausted the possibilities offered by the New-Yorker. — 
But I did not so much enjoy the "Little King" in the lift, because we could not 
laugh at it together. - Barbour had brought a number of "Hearsfs International 
Cosmopolitan" (April 1934) in which (p.24), I found a very curious article by a 
man named C. G. Jung: "Does the world stand on the verge of a Spiritual 
Rebirth"? Try to read it, if you can. The ideas, substantially, are curiously akin to 
the mine. The impossibility, for a modern man (the more modern he is) to be satis- 
fied by a work which has not a "definitive" value, is expressed there, in a very 
impressive way, by a technical psychologist — lam sure you will be interested 
by those pages. 

TE1LHARD Good bye, dear. Be happy. And don't forget, never, that what sweetness I 

& LUCILE j orce myself no f f g ve y 0U (j„ addition to the "strength"), — I do it in order to 
he more worthy of you. — Someday, I know, you will understand more fully. 

i6 Yours 


I shall write to you before long. 

Ichang. — May 23th, 1934 

Lucile, dear friend, 

I suppose, you have received, several days ago, my letter from Hankow. 
Since that time, we have been going on peacefully, in our trip. — We arrived here, 
Ichang fa walled city and treaty portj three days ago, — by a very good, and fast, 
steamer. Between here and Hankow, the journey is rather tedious. With the excep- 
tion of the approach of the Tungting lake, and of the approach of Ichang, the 
{Yangtze] river is bending, endlessly, in a perfectly flat and unattractive country. 
— Ichang, on the contrary, is very picturesque. The town, built in a hilly and 
pretty landscape, appears, looking from the river, as a row of small and high 
banks of the Yangtze. — All three, we are sheltered in a very comfortable house, 
the Scotch Mission (friends of Barbour), in which a set of perfectly nice old ladies 
keep us properly fed with cakes and tea, the entire day. — Meanwhile, we try to 
work, in spite of frequent rain. Yesterday, on a launch of the Customs, we had a 
marvelous trip in the Ichang gorges. The water was high and strong, and the cliffs 
splendid. Everywhere, waterfalls were running down the precipitous walls, — 
and everything was so intensely wet and green. I thought that it was just a pity 
you should not be with me. Geologically speaking, this is one of the most famous 
sections in China, and I was glad to see it for the first time. — Today, we have 
been working around Ichang, — and I collected the orchid flower enclosed in this 
letter. We plan to leave day after to morrow, straight to Chunking, — a matter of 
three days, since the boats stop during the night Then, probably, we shall come 
back, unless we decide to go to Chentu. 

On the whole, I am satisfied, — because I see and learn a lot of things. 

The only weak points, in such a half-touristic journey, is that the mind is 
not so alert as in the quiet laboratory work, — or as in a real trip in the wild. I 
feel rather difficult, under such circumstances to "find myself. I wonder, some- 
times, where really I am. — But, several experiences have proved me that, after 
such periods, something new had been softly growing in me. — Sol know that, 
when I come back to Peking, you will find me somewhat more myself, and yours. 

In the meantimes, I like to have my thought wandering to Peking, — to 
your dear little home. Might every blessings come then down from Heaven! — 

Good bye. — You could send me a word here (we shall be here back in a 
fortnight), or still more safely to Hankow (poste restante). 



[Note to herseiq May 21, 1934 THEIR 
And now you are away again two whole weeks — and I have only the same letters 

things to say to you — only more so. You 've become more important in my life every day. 

Yes. The live, physical, real you, all of you. 1 want you so terribly and I'm trying so hard to 1? 

understand and incorporate into my being your philosophy, your views on life. I read and 

reread and I think I understand, but why do they not make me feel them more deeply. I 

want to so much — / must for my own salvation — / can't have you. Not really, so I must 

learn your way of having each other. 

China Navigation Co. S.S. 
May 29th, 1934 

My dear friend, L. 

I have written to you a few days ago, from lchang. Now we are on the 
Yangtze, a few hours before reaching Chunking. We took, at lchang, a very small 
but nice steamer (Jardine Co); — young, and very agreable British officers; - and, 
in addition to ourselves, two first class passengers only: a dumb Japanese officer, 
and Captain Clavell Wilkinson, who is in charge of bringing you this letter. This 
way is probably scarcely slower than the mail; and 1 am sure you will enjoy to 
have a talk with this young man, with whom I felt really friend. — 

Since we left lchang, the weather has been perfect And the gorges are just 
so wonderful as people say. For a geologist, the journey is really "unique". — Per- 
haps we came a bit late, for the scenery: flowers are passed, and, by high waters, 
the rapids are less impressive. But, still, the landscape is a pure marvel, — and so 
deeply Chinese! I am always thinking that I should like so much to have you here, 
when we are passing a high pagoda-tower set on a spur of rock, or a gorgeous and 
intricated temple half conceiled amidst the cliffs and the trees, — or one of those 
curious cities hanging along the river's banks. — Tomorrow we will have to start 
a more serious work, on the field. Our plans are not yet very definite. We must 
have a talk with the Chunking's people, before deciding. 

In the meantime, I discovered my soul sufficiently alert. I have been 
thinking pretty much. And, as a result, I feel more and more a passionate child of 
Mother Earth - and yours. 


Wanhsien (Szechuan) June 8th, 1934 

Lucile, dear friend 

You have probably received the visit of Mr Wilkinson (with whom I have 
crossed the Yangtze gorges), — and he has probably also given you the short letter 
which I have given to him for you. He looks a very pleasant young man, and I 
thought you would like to have a talk with somebody who had seen me recently. - 

Presently, we are in Wanhsien, in our way back to Hankow. Wanhsien is 
a picturesque city, slightly modernised, hanging (as so many other towns along 
the Yangtze) over the steep banks of the river. We stay here in order to study a 
very important fossiliferous locality, at one day in the mountains. On account of 
a heavy rain, we could not start this morning. Tomorrow will be better. I hope. 

TEILHARD After three days we shall be back, and then take the first available boat to lchang 
&LUC1LE ( wnere i expect to find my mail), and to Hankow. I don't think that we may be 


later in Peiping than on about the 20th. In any case, I will let you know, when the 
1$ day of our arrival will be fixed. 

On the whole, I am satisfied by the trip so far. From Chungking (another 
"hanging city", but strongly transformed by motocar-streets and ambitious 
shops) I went to Chengtu (280 miles by a rather good road), which looks as the 
Peking of Szechuan: no foreign houses, but exclusively low Chinese roofs, half 
conceited under the old trees. Thefrench consul of Chengtu, Dr. Bechamp, is a dear 
friend of mine, extraordinarily brillant (artist, linguist, physicist and physician, 
etc.), — but somewhat sceptical and pessimistical. We had long talk, both 
together. Apparently he is just so far from believing in anything that 1 am myself 
a passionate believer (in certain things). But still we enjoy to be together, - prob- 
ably because we can be absolutely true with ourselves when discussing the prob- 
lems of the life. You would have liked the Bechamp's house, — full of Chinese 
embroideries and curios, — and very pretty (so much as a non married man is 
able to keep the things pretty). Every evening, we could, during two hours, listen 
to perfectly distinct talks and music, from our common Paris. This combination 
of the most refined humanity in the heart of western China was a kind of triumph 

on the life. — From Chengtu [capital of Sezchuan province] we had a trip, 

by motocar, to Kwanhsien, a picturesque little town which acts for the Thibetan 
area as Kalganfor the Mongolia. The town is built at the very foot of the snowy 
Szechuan Alps, - and works as a continuous market for exchanges between the 

mountain and the Chinese plain. Geologically, the journey has been highly 

interesting for me. My only "regret" is not to have been able going a bit further 
westwards. Still, I have crossed the entire Sezchuan, — a beautiful country which 
I will describe better to you when we meet again in your dear, little home. Useless 
to tell you, I think, how much I look forward for this happy day. My hope is to 
find a letter of you in lchang, after a few days. Might those past weeks have been 
for you full, and happy! 

Yours more deeply than ever 


[Note to herself] June 17, 1934 

There was another dear letter from you three days ago and you say "more deeply 
than ever yours". I wonder what that means? But it is more and that is enough for me. 
You will be home just in a few days. It seems as if I couldn 't wait. How to fill in the time, 
and what can I do and think to be more worthy of you, Pierre. I shall try. Of that I am sure, 
for 1 want your love so much that I will do anything to keep it and to make it grow. So that 
1 may be a part of your very life as you are of mine, and I shall learn to control my emo- 

And then came your wire saying that you will be here Tuesday. I am so happy 
and feel so completely yours. 1 love you every minute of every day and that love is going to 
make me a better and I hope finer woman. I am on my guard not to do anything that 
would be unworthy of our friendship, and all the time I am more fully understanding and 
believing your ideas and they are becoming a part of me, so I must be better. 

But I still love you so that it hurts - which is probably not the way you want me THEIR 

Loyang, July 18th, 1934 

to love you - but Pierre I shall learn - and you will help me. 1932-41 


Lucile, dear friend, 

We have arrived safely here this morning, 4 a.m., after a remarkly cool, 
and windy journey. Today, unfortunately (?) the sun is shining, and the day is 
warmer. But still, the conditions are sufficiently good; and we have found, near 
the railway station, a rather clean small inn, very quiet, - in which nobody tries 
to watch everything we do. The local officials, also, have been very kind. We plan 
to leave, tomorrow morning (or a day later) by motorcar, to the southwest - Some 
hundred kilometers, probably. Further, we hope to find mules. 

This is the present, external situation. — Now I must tell you, internally, 
how much I have been, and deeply, moved by your letter. I read it several times, 
carefully, - and this has been my "inner" sun of yesterday. — Yes, Lucile I want 
your womanliness. And all the question for me is to know how I can get it with- 
out being of any undue trouble in your life. God (whom I dream you will gradu- 
ally discover) will help us to find the path which we are finally searching for 

When we meet again, we shall have to talk again of your "trinal" concep- 
tion of the perfect love. The problem, I told you, exists for me just as for you, — 
although, for some complex reasons, I believe to have to stick somewhat to an old 
solution. My line of answer, let me observe, does not exclude the "physical" ele- 
ment, — since it is not some abstract spirit, — but the "woman", — which I dis- 
cover in you. All the question is to decide whether, amongst the natural "effects" 
which you alluded to, some have not to be avoided (in certain cases) precisely 
because they have, in themselves, something of an end, or of an achievement, or of 
an internal completion, which makes them rather a terminal stage than a step 
towards the only complete spiritual union. - 

Anyhow, you are right in observing that life is constantly going on by 
"compromissions". But, then, we must understand that obeying those "contin- 
gencies" is not a mere expression of "bon sens". This submission expresses the 
faith we have that the most beautiful thing we can do by our life is to fill, as per- 
fectly as we can, the place in which we happen to be in the Universe. — In our 
particular case, also, we can find some kind of happiness in thinking that what 
we have to suffer or to miss expresses (and pays for) the work of discovering 
something which is grand and new, — the "new discovery of the Fire". — 

I hope, Lucile, that yesterday was not too much a cloudy day for you; — 
and that you found some mysterious compensation to the "breaking of the habit". 
I paid you mentally, and heartily, my visit, at 5 p.m. — God might help you in 
finding how I can "animate" your life without interfering in anything with its 
normal external course! 

And God bless you for the sweet strength you have become for me! 

I will write you again before long. 



TEHHARD [Journal) July 23, 1934 

CORRESPOND ' seem io ^ ve ^few thoughts about God — there is still an inner resistance that 

1 don't quite understand — Perhaps it is because so many recent Christians have been 

20 such dry narrow uninteresting people— most of my friends the people whom 1 consider to 

be doing things are mostly like myself— vaguely or strongly believing in a greater force 

and hoping by doing some good work and developing one's self to the best of one's ability 

to add to the sum total of good in the world — when we create this force for good we add 

something to the world and in this way we are doing our share and "loving God" 

/ would like to love God in the way P.T. does — perlmps that will come in time — 
For certainly he has an inner strength and integrity that is unique — is it because of his 
feeling for God or just because he is that— probably both — 

His "credo" — or whatever it is still seems to me the best expression of a faith 
that I have yet found — 

[Note to herself] J«/y 27, 1934 

Perhaps it is because I have been trying to contemplate and write about the spirit 
of the world, God, and also because I have read your notebook and realize how much of you 
is unworldly. And I wrote you just before you left in which I spoke of the "physical". 
Please don't think I mean just sex, although that is very strong. It would make a bond 
between us that would add a strength tliat I believe nothing else can give. However, that is 
only a part. I want to be with you and when you are well and when you are ill. Go see 
beautiful things with you and walk through the country. In other words, I want to stand 
beside you always, to laugh and play and pray with you. Don 't you realize what a big part 
of life that is, and how that is what is right and normal and God-given. But I cannot. Ne 
puis pas. 

Lushih, July 27th, 1934 

Lucile, dear friend, 

Just a few lines, in order to prove you that I don't forget you. 

We are now at Lushih, a small "hsien" , five days south-west ofloyang, 
along the Lo-ho. — We came here by carts, then by mules. And today we plan to 
leave, by chairs and mules, for Sichuan, a small town south of the Tsinling range. 

Very picturesque and montainous country. Geologically, we have hit a 
critical and fascinating place, — much more interesting than I could hope. — 
Weather rather cool Not too much rain. 

Going to Sichuan will possibly delay us a little, may be a week. Still we 
hope to be back to Peiping not much later than the August 15th. 

Hope you have received my letter from Loyang. — I enjoy the thought 
that you are probably quiet, —fundamentally happy, — and that you are going 
to take holiday, somewhere. - 

Yours ever 


[Note to herseiq July 29, 1934 

How I wish he were free so he could spread his beliefs of religion freely - they are 
so sane and intelligent and so appealing to the world of today which needs and longs 

far the very thing that he has to give — whereas his church neither wants not condones it THEIR 

- Maybe something will happen if they would only kick him out! But I'm afraid he has lft3 2-4l 
been a bit too cautious — with a wee bit more daring he could be a flower to brighten the 

dark places and give man something solid to hold to in this age of catastrophies and sud- 21 
den changes 

[Joumall August 2, 1934 

A letter this morning from P — which gives me such inner peace and happiness- 
translating now "Christianity and Evolution" and hope to learn from that - 1 realize how 
often the ideas just skim to the top of my mind and they do not penetrate way down and 
become a part of my consciousness - / shall keep at this paper until I have really digested it 

- It is hard far me to accept the importance - or if not the importance, then the necessity of 
Christ in religion- He seems to me too emphasized in a way that confuses the whole pan- 
theistic idea — (And lama pantheist-) 

[Journal] August 8, 1934 

Because I decide I would like to believe in God, I expect to have Him suddenly 
and fully revealed to me — and I am distressed and doubtful when this does not happen - 
which is certainly a wrong and absurd point of view — Everything else in this world that 
is worth while has to be gotten (or maintained) slowly with work and thought — so why 
should I expect this most precious gift — of a feeling at-Oneness with God should come to 
me suddenly and fully made. 

A human love seems to come suddenly and easily That is the glorious mira- 
cle and great joy of it - But to maintain the love — there is the great problem — and one 
that we are apt not to realize but expect the love to function completely and perfectly by 

P / shall work for toth — / want yours as much as God's — 

[Letter to herself) August 9. 34 


How the days pass and yet how they repeat themselves — at least in the mean- 
time I have seen clearly how I can live, and function fully with you in the position that 
you would have. 

The "light" that animates my life without having any very definite part in its 
daily routine - and I still inwardly fight against accepting this fully - 1 subconsciously 
hope that some miracle - or accident - will happen to make a normal relationship possible. I 
might say "ordinary" and then I can revolt against that. 

No, it cannot be ordinary, Pierre, but it is so difficult to give up those old ideas. 
They aren 't just mine . They are bred into my whole being. There is a little feeling of being 
traitor to something very important an d fundamental in giving up my views and accept- 
ing yours - and yet I know that I must and that I must substitute them for something 

And I remember in some Indian philosophy that I read a long time ago something 
to the effect that it is only by giving a thing up that we really get it. Sometimes lately it is 
hard to realize that you really will be back here soon again. That we shall be together again 
to laugh and talk and explore new paths. 


TEILHARD His so strange when you are away sometimes it is so difficult to touch you, you 

& LUCILE $eem go ver yf ar awa y an d then at other moments you are here completely. I can touch you 
almost— so strong is your presence. But I have gotten a great deal of inner strength since 
22 last winter. I think that your help is germinating something real and strong and that will 
be with me always. 

[Jouma\\ August 9, 1934 

In looking over these pages there seems to be quite as much about P. as about God 
— J was thinking over that last sentence — "J want P.'s love as much as God's." And I 
don't believe it is true — God must come first — otherwise there is nothing for the other 
—But it seems to me they can go nearly hand in hand — as the more can help the lesser - 
so also the Lesser by becoming more pure can become a part of therefore strengthening to, 

the More — "Pure" — what does that Mean less selfish less influenced by 

worldly motives 

Peiping, August 17th, 1934 

Lucile, dear friend 

As you can easily suppose, I felt a touch of disappointetnent, when, on 
the 14th, I found Spotty and Dungshi [Lucile's dogsj only masters of the house, at 
[NumberJ 1, Ta Tien Shut Ching (they received me, I must say, very affection- 
ately). But, this impression was immediately swept away by the feeling that you 
were enjoying the endless green of Mongolia, — and still more by the reading of 
your precious letter, which has meant so much for me. Because, as you know, my 
dream is to help you in being more fundamentally happy, more conscious of your- 
self, more aware of the essential values of the life, more free. And, by your letter, I 
could see that you are gradually undergoing this "metamorphose". — Most evi- 
dently, we shall have still to meet the clouds, from time to time. But the climbing 
path, towards the glorious mountain, is already clearer, in front of us. Let us 
trust, fully, the highest possibilities of the life: they will never deceive us. 

As 1 have just told you, I am glad that you decided to go to Mongolia. 
Whatever might be the final success of the trip, you will feel better, and younger, 
just for having tried what you were planning for such a long time. And, on your 
return, the Peking's life will have new interest, and something like a new flavour 
for you. I have experienced it so many times, myself. 

Personally, I have made an exceptionally interesting trip. After 1 wrote 
you, from Lushih (I could not find, later, any other place from where I could send 
you a letter which would arrive before myself), we have crossed the Tsinling 
mountains, reached the northern border of the Hupeh, — and, from this latter 
place, travelled eastwards up to the Kinshan railway, south ofKaifong.The coun- 
try was quiet, — but the communications rather uneasy. We had to use carts, 
mules, chairs, and finally rickshaws (for 4 solid days!). Very picturesque moun- 
tains and people; — and practically no rain. From the most essential, that is from 
the geological, point of view, 1 am "over-satisfied". Once more, I realize that I 
would have lost a lot if, at the middle of July, I had given up, by some weariness, 
the idea of making this trip. 

J leave tomorrow for Tientsin. My plan is to begin my "retraite" Sunday THEIR 
evening (19th). After this time, I will have (by decency) to stay a few days more 1932 ~ 41 
with my colleagues. But I must be back in Peiping in the very first days of Sep- 
tember. At the end of the month I shall write you, from Tientsin, a fsm lines, in 23 
order to let you know the precise day of my return (I prefer, from Tientsin, where I 
don't post my letters myself, not to write too much extensively and too much per- 
sonally). — In the meantimes, I will be "with you" very closely. Trying to put 
myself deeper under the divine "influence" is a work in which I cannot separate 
you from me. 

Thank you so much for the pages you included in your letter. We shall 
discuss them, in September, — and many other things, also. 

Yours so much 

[Journal] October 14, 1934 

The sun shines — the air is fresh and cool and I am deeply happy — if seems to 
me I bve more completely every day — He is the man I've been dreaming to find all my 
life everything - except why did God put in that little joke of making him a priest! 

[Note to herself] November 7, 1934 

He has gone away for a week — so I turn again to my pen — I want to be more 
conscious of what he is and of what I can be for him — we have talked very deeply lately of 
him, his relations to institutions etc. — it is not all clear — sometimes it does not seem 
completely right — but is it possible to have things completely right here in this life — By 
trying to right one angle — may we not make another one so sharp it will cause great pain 
and sorrow — and yet by following the safe and happy mean — does not seem the best 
always — It's often by hard things that the great ideas are born into the world — Anyway 
the moment has not yet arrived — If lean help to keep the Divine flame more alive and 
bright in P. if will eventually show the Right Way. 

Pengpu, January 3d, 1935, 5 p.m. 

Lucile, dear, 

We have just arrived in Pengpu, — and I will take the chance of this stop 
for writing to you in a readable way. — A day since I left you, — and this famous 
"2th" is over! I want to tell you again how I feel safe and sure that these weeks of 
absence are going to strengthen and to feed what is borne so deep between you 
and me. These last days, I believe, have been the most rich, and full, which we 
have ever experienced. There is no limit, I think, to this growing, mutual, "inter- 
penetration" of the lives. Might you become even more happy and free by me, as 
you make me more alive and more true! 

This first part of the journey is going its ordinary way: rather monoto- 
nous. We left the snow and the ice a long time ago. The weather is scarcely cool, 
— but so covered, and so grey. Maybe I will find Canton too warm, and long for 
the winter of Peking. 





Yesterday, when I entered my car, I met the Rector of Tientsin, my friend 
P. Charvet, and we went on together, talking, up to Tientsin. In some way, I was 
glad to meet him, but in some way also, I "blessed" him, because I should have 
preferred to be left alone with my thoughts, and with you. 

I spent this day reading your "brochures". An article on the Christ, by 
Charles Hall Perry, "the Man Amongst Men" interested me. The author is right, 
reproaching the Church to have too much forgotten the human side and teaching 
of Jesus. But do we not need a God for our human life? We shall discuss it. (I keep 
the paper). — Elsewhere, I noticed this quotation of "Dona Margherita", the 
"Woman behind Mussolini": "a woman does not influence a man by what she 
says, but by what she is". I think it is so beautiful and so true. 

I will do my best for sending you a few lines tomorrow, when I know the 
time of departure of the Prest. Taft fan American ship bound for Hong Kong). 

Be sure that you shall be everywhere with me, — as a smile and a light 


Jan 12th, 1935 

Lucile, dear, 

I sent you my last letter from Hong Kong. And, as you see, we are still in 
Canton, — which we plan to leave tomorrow, by boat, for Wuchow (Kwangsi). I 
should have liked to start earlier. But we had to stay here a few days, waiting for 
Dr. Chang (the professor of Geology at Sun Yat-sen University) who is going to 
lead us during our journey. Chang is a great friend of Young, and we have been 
together in Mongolia, with Roy. To have him with us is an advantage which can- 
not be paid at too high a price. -In the meantimes, we had plenty to do here, 
inspecting the collections, and visiting the best geological sites around the city. I 
learn a lot of new things. — Everybody is really charming for us. Two days ago, I 
gave a short lecture in the University. And, yesterday evening, we have been 
offered a remarkable Chinese dinner in the best restaurant of Canton. I thought, 
during this little feast that you would have enjoyed the place and the sight. So 
different from the small restaurants of Peking! — A long room, entirely open on a 
garden sheltered by great evergreen trees. — We found here a summer weather, 
sunny, scarcely too hot. People are going half naked. Many flowers, everywhere. I 
can scarcely imagine that you are still freezing in Peiping. And still I have better 
not to think too much of Peiping. I miss it, — chiefly because I miss you. — And 
yet, as you know, this feeling is not a depressing, but rather an "exalting? one. — 
I will ever do my best in the life for you, Lucile. 

On the whole, Canton is a queer city, awfully noisy, swarming with 
human agitation, essentially Chinese. Practically all the old houses have disap- 
peared, - replaced by half -foreign buildings: imagine a maze of magnified "Morri- 
son streets". This is not specially artistic, but so full of lights, of life and of noise. 
- China seems to survive just the same under the new cloths. - Outside of the city 
proper, the growth of Canton is still more impressive. Everywhere, along the news 
roads, rise ambitious buildings: the new University (an enormous thing, in new 
Chinese style, cf. PUMC or Yenching fa university in Peiping]), modern barracks 
with a constant buzzing of tanks and aeroplanes, innumerous memorials to the 

Revolution and Sun Yatsen. I get sick of this Sun Yat-sen and of his statues "in THEIR 
redingote". A depressing god! - Such a poor change for the Christ — The country I932 "* 1 
itself is charming, with the red rolling hills, the pine-apple fields, the rice-fields, 
the huge banyan trees, and the constant going along the roads of tiny Chinese so 25 
much like to Indochinese. 

My time has been so much occupied from the Chinese side that I did not 
go to Shamen nor to the American consultate. — Now, for our return, the plans 
are somewhat altered. We shall probably go back directly, by boat, from Wuchow 
to Hong Kong. This is shorter. — Yet, you can send me a letter do Dr. Chang, Dept 
of Geology, Sun Yat-sen University, Canton, (the letter will be forwarded) (unless 
you prefer to send it do Dollar Line, Hongkong, — waiting, — at the beginning of 

Everything is all right, as you see. — / hope that you, you are happy, in 
spite of the absence. I am so full of you, Lucile. — How to thank you for what you 
are for me! 

Evidently, I had no time for writing anything. On the Taft, Bechamp was 
always with me. — Still, my thoughts are progressing, I feel it, — specially con- 
cerning the value (and the emptiness) of the past I think that I have crossed a 
critical point in my internal evolution, those past months, with you. 



Nanning Jan 18th, 1935 

Lucile, dear, 

My last letter was from Canton. Since that time, we have covered a long 
way; and, today, I write you from the Kwangsi chief town, way up along the Hsi- 
kiang (West River). From Canton to Wuchow, we used a small steamer,- and, 
from Wuchow to Nanning (about 400 miles), we used a private motocar, in order 
to see better the country. The road was excellent, the driver good, the small hotels 
perfectly decent, and we four (Young, Pet, Chang and myself) very gay. Since the 
arrival to Wuchow, the winter has arrived in the south: a cloudy sky, and a mini- 
mum of 7 centigrade. People look frozen, and go along the roads under a blanket, 
or with a small basket with burning charcoal on their belly. But, on the whole, it 
is not £2 cold. Only, as told us by von Steinen, the houses are mostly open, and 
there is no trace of heating system whatever. In a way, it is a pity to see the coun- 
try without sun: everything is so tropical-looking: the huge green trees, the fruit, 
the red soil, the ferns, the bright birds. Today, the clouds seem thinner. Maybe this 
cold spell is coming to its end. — 

Concerning my work, I am extremely interested. I begin to believe seri- 
ously that we understand the formations, in a way which will establish the con- 
nexion with the Yangtze and with the North. Each day brings a new light on our 
views. Once more, I realize that it is good to make an effort in order to see some- 

*He was a Chinese revolutionary leader (1867-1925) who founded China's first republic. 
His "cult" was well established by that time. 


TEHHARD thing more, - in spite of the tendency to stay in a very comfortable place. And, all 
id *^ the time, I like to come back to you, in my thoughts, as to the best of the rest I 
hope so deeply that for you absence is not too hard, but, on the contrary, brings 
26 you a clearer and better appreciation of the great hope which is in the front of our 
life! — We plan to stay here, and around banning, four days, — and then to go to 
the North. Impossible to foresee clearly the date of our coming back. I hope we 
can reach a President fa Dollar line shipj at Hong Kong on the 12th Feb., - and 
Peiping before the 20th February. A bit later than I thought. 

Yours ever, 


Kweiling (Kwangsi), fan 28th, 1935 

Lucile, dear 

My last letter was from Naming, — close to Indochina. Now, we are 
almost in the north of the Kwangsi, not very far from the Hunan. This is the 
extreme point we planned to reach. The next step we do will be along the way 
back to Canton. Now it is sure that we shall catch the "President Pierce" on Feb. 

Everything is going well. Each day brings an opportunity for new obser- 
vations which seem to confirm our views concerning the Tertiary and Quaternary 
Geology ofS. China. - In prehistorical matter, we did not find any Choukoutien. 
But, here as in Nanning, we have excellent evidences of an ancient culture (cave- 
dwellers, shell-eating people) which marks an interesting stage in the prehistory 
of China. Unfortunately, all the caves have been "devastated" by fossil-hunter 
Chinese, so that a few patches only of the deposits are preserved. On the whole, I 
think that this journey will have cleared lot of questions left unsolved by the 
geologists of Canton. So, you see, I have been right in asking you the sacrifice of 
those few weeks, - and you have been a courageous and helpful friend. Your spiri- 
tual "presence" has been comforting me, all this time. 

From a picturesque point of view, we are in one of the most famous and 
strange places of China. All around Kweiling, — and far south, — the country is a 
forest of high pillars or needles of limestone (about 80 or 90 meters high), forming 
a most extraordinary landscape. Those are the remains of a highly dissected lime- 
stone plateau. Amongst this maze of fantastic rocks, emerging from a brick-red 
soil, the rivers run, a transparent, jade-green water. The pity is only that the 
country is so much deforested. - Here, the vegetation is not so much tropical as in 
Nanning. No more palms, nor cycas fa large plant, also called cycadj in the rocks. 
But still we are in a country of oranges, mandarins, and pomalos. — Weather 
cloudy, and almost cold. The houses are mostly open, — and there is no fire, 
except for the fire-bowls. 

Everything all right, also, with Chang, Young, and Pel Yet, I begin to long 
for the society of white men, and I shall be extremely glad when I see Hong Kong 
again. — Our plan is to go, by boat, straight from Wuchow to Hong Kong. If you 
have written me to Canton, I will have the letter forwarded to Hong Kong. — 

I hope deeply that you are strong, wise, and happy, — This is apparently THEIR 
the last letter I can write to you before my return, — unless I do it again from 1932 ' 41 
Hong Kong. 


Hong Kong 8 February, 1935 

Lucile, dear, 

I wonder how long before me this letter will reach Peiping. Anyhow, I try 
my chance for sending you those few lines before I return. — We have arrived yes- 
terday evening from Wuchow, — and we have to wait up to the 13th, here, before 
leaving. Thafs the trouble with a return-ticket! — We are due on the 15th in 
Shanghai. I will probably have to stay there up to the 16th, or the 17th. — On the 
19th (or the 20th, at the latest), I shall see you again. —As I told you in my last 
letter, we did not pass by Canton on our way back. But, if you have sent me a let- 
ter there, I hope to receive it tomorrow. I am rather anxious to know what you 
did and felt, during those last weeks. 

My last letter was from Kweiling. - Since, the journey has been interest- 
ing, — even successful. — We came back along a river, on a small sampan: 4 days 
on the water, included the new Chinese year. We had our crackers, and the lady of 
the sampan performed all the small Chinese rites, incense, candles, food to the 
ancestors, etc. 

Here, I have met the Champeaux, with pleasure. — / expected to find also 
Bechamp: but no news of him. He has "evaporated". 

A bientdt, dear. And believe me 

Yours very deeply 

[Dollar Steamship Line] February 14th, 1935 

Lucile, dear, 

Just a few lines before my arrival, — so that you might be sure that I am 
coming, — and that I have well received your four dear letters (two forwarded to 
Hong Kong, from Canton, — and the two others found on the President Pierce). — 
They were so precious for me, those long letters, in which I could read so clearly 
the gradual deepening and strengthening of our mutual feeling! - Yes, this is the 
distinct rising of the bright hopes which are in front of our lives, under as well as 
across the sky. Too often, you know, I feel anxious, because I wonder whether I 
am right and wise in trying to reconciliate together Earth and Heaven. - But when 
I happen to experience (as in our case) that breaking some respected boundaries 
means a torrent of new life, — then I feel safer and stronger; — because, you know 
it also, I don't believe fundamentally in anything but in the awakening of spirit, 
hope, and freedom. Yes, we shall talk about Erasmus, Bailey Willis, and even B. 
Russell (whom I dislike instinctively, in spite of his worshiping by V.K. Ting). — I 
like to be contradicted, as well as to be approved, by you, so dear! - 


TE11JHARD We are due tomorrow (Friday) in Shanghai. 1 should like to take the Peip- 

&LUCILE jWg fr a i n fa $ame fay Q ut fatf would no t oe understood, nor admitted, by 


many friends (inside and outside of my Order). So, I have decided to leave (at the 

28 latest) , Monday, -arriving in Peiping Wednesday the 20th. I shall see you the 

same day, - and I would be too glad to have the dinner with you, the same nig ht 

The few days spent in Hong Kong were very pleasant I enjoy this beauti- 
ful rocky coast, and its ever-green cover, and its "incessant" movement of steam- 
ers, from and for every part of the world. — Every night I used to have dinner 
with the Champeaux, at the top of the Peak, — and it was delightful, at 11 p.m., 
to enjoy, from those heights, the sight of the town and of the harbour: looking 
down at a second sky. — Bechamp passed last Saturday, coming from Haiphong, 
but went straight to Macao. He sent me a letter, asking me to join him there. But 
I had no time. 

Finally, 1 did not write my paper on the "Discovery of the Past". But 1 
feel that this new child wants more and more to come to birth. The fruit is almost 
entirely ripe, 1 think. — 

Instead of writing those pages I had to spend my time in making a report 
(now practically ready) on my Kwangsi trip: a rather good paper, 1 think. — 
When Breuil comes, at the end of the month, I am afraid that my dear "matinees 
de travail" will be terribly upset — 

J think your plans for your journey abroad are perfectly wise. — Person- 
ally, 1 am always decided to leave as soon as possible after the April 15th. The 
date depends chiefly on the BreuiVs plans. - Hope to find a final answer of de 
Terra in my mail, next Wednesday. 

A bientot, dear, 


[Journal] February Uth, 2935 

I have been pretty wise and I have not been depressed — but my friend — the salt 

has gone out of life when you are away — You must help me to see a way Friendship 

is no doubt the highest form of love — and also very difficult — my primitive woman 
instincts are so strong — to learn how to control this love is so difficult — but oh my 
beloved what a worthwhile line of effort — 

[Journal] March 10, 1935 

Yesterday we walked together in Central Park — It was so beautiful and so com- 
pletely right being there with you — you answer and satisfy every need and desire — Fri- 
day we talked again of the same subject and you said some things which made everything 
more clear — It was so simple and yet made several things clear tome — I asked for 
"bread" — meaning some of the ordinary things that an ordinary man gives to his woman 
— But we are trying to find a new path — a finer higher way to love — and if we miss 

some of the ordinaru things - it is the price we must pay and how really very small a 

price compared to what we get — / don 't know that no one can have aft, that every thing 

has its price - and what prices people pay for such shoddy goods! But here I get the very THEIR 

best in the world and have cried because there was a small price to pay! 1932-41 
r r 7 LETTERS 

Lucile left for the States a little more than a month after Teilhard returned to Peking. His jq 
March letter was most probably the farewell note they customarily wrote for one another, 
so that the one leaving had a message to take on the journey. 

Peiping, March 29th, 1935 

Lucile, dear, 

This time, you. are leaving, and I am left behind. This is the hardest part. 
But I am glad it is my share: because, you know, 1 would like so much to take on 
me any pain from your life. — My dream and my hope, is to be for you a strength 
and a jay only . Lucile. Anything else, which should make you less happy, or 
weaker, reject it as untrue, as "un-existant": it would not be myself — We have 
met in the light: more light will be the proof that we are getting always closer. 

And now you have left, and you are already facing those eight months of 
internal adventure: a new conquest of the world under a new spirit Keep your 
mind and your heart open, and faithful. Here again, any depressing thought, any 
suspicion, against God, the Life, or our friendship, would be untiuz- You may 
come across external difficulties: inside nothing is really able to threaten your 
essential joy. — That is the treasure which does not rust: an everlasting interest 
discovered in the World at the deepest and personal heart of every thing. 

You are going East. After a few days 1 am also leaving, West. Is that not 
as if, by our two lifes, we were making the symbolic gesture of "encircling? the 
Earth? - Be SMIZ of that: the separation of today is not the end of anything: just a 
start for the new life. 

God bless you, precious 


Peiping, Saturday April 6th, 1935 

Lucile dear, 

This morning, I have received your letter, "tres attendue", of April 1st; 
and I want to tell you immediately combien elle m'a ete douce. 1 needed this let- 
ter, 1 must confess you, because the pink charms of the Pekinese spring made me 
feeling a little sick, in your absence. But now that I know that you have left 
China sufficiently strong, happy, and chiefly hopeful, this kind of shadow has 
almost disappeared, — and 1 can enjoy more directly the joy and the strength of 
our mutual and common conquests. Because, really, the meaning of our friendship 
is to discover and to conquer, — ourselves, each other, and the great world around 
us, — is it not true? — I will, all along these months, tell you what happens to 
me, in the course and in the line of this "our" development. And next January will 
positively find us higher and closer than ever, — just because we have parted 
when we had to do it. And then, also, we shall feel still more sure each of the 
other, because we shall have tried our wings, — those wings which have been 
growing so dilicieusement in your nest during the past year. — 

TEILHARD Since I left you, on the Tientsin's platform, eight days have already 

& LUCRE p asse d t — yj e were on iy \wo days in Tientsin, Breuil and myself. On Sunday 

night we were back in Peitang [the Jesuit house in PeipingJ. And since the rou- 

30 tine has been going on — except that I feel still a little lost at 5 p.m. [teatimej. 
Weidenreich has arrived yesterday, — a very decent old Herr Professor, who 
pleases me really. He seems very clever in his anthropological line, — but will 
evidently rely entirely upon me for the geological side of the problems. His wife is 
a typical, short, rounded, german lady, - but agreable and evidently extremely 
witty. — I will have to see him as much as possible those days. Finally, I cannot 
go to Japan (my Japanese friends are leaving Tokyo too early), — so that I have 
decided to go directly from here to Paris, — leaving Peking on the "2th" of May, 
and reaching Paris on May 15th. Reservations are already made. With the excep- 
tion of the end of the "Semaine Sainte" (Eastern) which I shall spend in Tientsin 
with Breuil, I will not leave Peking this month (except for Choukoutien, with 
Weidenreich).* But even that makes a very short time. I prefer. 

Today, I saw Rose who told me that your house is rented! So you were 
right, not worrying about this question. — Personally, I like to pass at the 
entrance ofTa Tien Shui Ching, — but I did not yet risk myself further. — Grabau 
has been operated, five days ago. He looks a little thin and weak. But everything 
seems to be all right with him. 

God bless you, dear. And might the big ocean be always smooth and 
bright for you. 

Yours so much 


Today (Sunday morning) 

We are going to the Ming Tombs (Breuil, Pei & myself). I will think of you at each 
blossom of tree, I think.). 

Peiping, April Uth, 1935 


I felt a "shock of joy" yesterday, when I received your letter from Kobe. 
And so many nice things in this letter: that you have a pleasant trip, that you are 
so well fed, — and above all, that you are happy and hopeful inside. I too, you 
must be sure of that, I have this curious and sweet experience that you have been 
"growing' in me, during this last fortnight: becoming, in some way, a kind of liv- 
ing atmosphere, permeating my feelings, my thoughts, my desires, and my plans. 
Yes (I have told it to you in my last letter) I have been (and I am still) a bit lost, 
every day, at 5 p.m. But even this pain has something enjoyable in itself, since it 
makes more tangible for me the place you have been taking in my Universe, — for 
ever, Lucile. — 

*Young and Bien also went with them later (from April 23 to 25) to Choukoutien, 37 miles 
southwest of Peiping and the site of the 1929 discoveries of the skull, jaws, and teeth of 
extinct Peking man (Simnthropus pekinensis). 



1935 photograph of Teilhard and Breuil at the Ming Tombs. 

TEILHARD Now, after a fortnight, I am going to leave, too. Better so. — These 2 

& LUC1LE weefe ^j/j oe rather busy. Next Wednesday (Sunday, today, and I write you from 
the Peitang), we are going to Tientsin, Breuil and myself. Next Sunday (Easter) or 
32 rather Monday, we come back here; and I have to go to Choukoutien with 
Weidenreich. And, the following week (2nd of May) we start our trans-siberian 
journey. In the meantimes, I have many papers to finish, — and a lot of "red 
spots" to distribute on my maps. — One thing makes these last days more simple: 

I will not have to part from you, when I leave Peiping. And, on the contrary, your 
strength and your presence will accompany me. 

I wrote you last Sunday, just before going, with Breuil, to the Ming- 
tombs. A very pleasant day, — but so pleasant that a crowd of Chinese were also 
enjoying it in the same way as ourselves. In addition, the roofs of the main tomb 
were in full repair: dust, heaps of lime and of broken tiles. The spell of the place 
was broken. Yet, the country was lovely, with so many trees white and pink. No 
rain, since you left. I do not remember to have ever seen such a marvelous spring 
in China. 

Grabau is still in the hospital, — but improving very fast. — I saw Rose 
last thursday (lunch to her house, with Breuil and St. Bennett). Nothing new on 
this side of Peiping. Last Monday, big cocktail-party given by Fortuyn in honour 
of Weidenreich. Ida Pruitt was here, back from Shantung. "Half Peking went 
away since Lucile has left", she told me. — Last friday, paying a visit to Mrs 
Black, I saw the two puppies (more or less the cousins of "Tunghsi") given by 
Seaholm. They were perfectly amusing. — Yesterday night, very gay party given 
by Fieschi. I had to explain everything about Man and Apes. This is the chronicle. 
The Hoppenofs have left for a fortnight trip along the Yangtze gorges. Mrs Wilder 
has been rather seriously ill in Nanking. 

Now, you are on the big blue water of the Pacific. 
"Que V ocean vous berce de ses lames," "May the ocean cradle you in its 
amie. Je voudrais etre le Monde pour waves/' friend. I would like to be the 
que tout soit toujours doux autour de w °dd so that everything would always 
vous. Mais Dieu peutfaire cela, Lui, et ** 8 enlle around vou - But God can do 

II sait toujours combien vous m'etes that ' ™* He al ^ys Jcnows how dear 
ts ' A , . t % you are to me. Day before yesterday I 

chere. - Recu, avant-hter, une tres J^ a yeiy J^ ^ ^ 

bonne lettre d'l. Treat: elle a passe 5 Treat: she spent five weeks with her 

semaines avec son ami (allant avec lui friend (going with him to New Cale- 

en NF lle Caledonie, et retour a Tahiti), donia, and returning to Tahiti) and 

et pense vaguement rentrer a Paris en thinks vaguely of returning to Paris in 

automne. the autumn. 

She had received your letter (and my photo), and she says; "I think your 
friendship with L. Swan an excellent thing. It is the sort of friendship that keeps 
you still aware of the tenderer things of this world." A bientot une autre lettre, 
Dear. (I shall wwbil them, so that you will notice if some is lost). 


Everything is going all right with Weidenreich. He is an extremely able man in his 
anatomical line, — and very sympathic. 

Peiping, April 25th, 1935 THEIR 

Luctle dear, LETTERS 

It was such another joy for me to receive your 2nd letter from Japan 
(April 10). It came just after I had sent my letter 2. Since that time, I went to Tien- 33 
tsin, back here, and the day after to Choukoutien, where I come from today. — A 
terrible weather today: the wind is blowing hard and hot, and the air is yellow of 
dust and sand. No hope for a drop of rain, it seems. In spite of the tender green of 
the trees, I prefer to think that you are on the blue sea, today. And yet, I could not 
help being deeply moved, an hour ago, when I passed the entrance of your street: 
shall I, before I leave, make a pilgrimage at your gate? - probably. I did not dare 
to approach it, since you have left. 

Everything is going all right, besides, for me. But I am already caught in 
the whirl of the departure. In this line, also, I prefer you have left first. I could 
scarcely see you, if you were here! - At the Survey, I hope to leave everything as 
much ready as possible for the continuation of the work and for my own publica- 
tions. I appreciate Weidenreich each day more, who evidently, from his side, is 
more and more caught by the interest of his new position. — Decidedly, the last 
fragment of skull found in CKT (do you remember when I told you about my dis- 
covery in the Lockart Hall?) belongs to a true Sinanthropus. — Things are gradu- 
ally taking a definite shape, in our investigations. 

And now, in a week, I am leaving, with Breuil directly by Mukden and 
Manchouli. I go ahead a little blindly. I think 1 have to go: I go. That is all. This 
new journey I regard (and will more and more regard) as a renewed gift of myself 
to the Life (enlightened by you, Lucile). What am I going to meet in France and in 
India? I do not know. But I firmly hope to find more faith in the world, and more 
contact with the spirit of the world. — The world, I think, waits for me now in 
Paris, and at the foot of the Himalaya. I obey, — and, doing so, I think that I 
become closer to you. This is my only reaction to the life, presently. 

Next Saturday, dinner of the Nat.Hist.Society, at the Peking Hotel. Breuil 
is the speaker. I have asked Rose and Miss Dolleans (thefrench "archivist") and 
Dantremer (Banaue d'Indochine) to come. There is no "Grabau table" this year. 
Grabau himself is much better now; but he will not leave the Hospital before a 
few days. — I did not see much of your friends since you left: only Rose, practi- 
cally, 2 or 3 times. She is a little afraid, these days, not to get the money she 
expected (at the divorce) for the education of Michel. It seems that this divorce- 
business is terribly slow. — / met also Magd-Lloyd in the Peking Hotel. She 
insisted for having me at tea: but I dont think I will have time for it. — Before I 
leave, I will have a tea with Mac and limp (and probably miss you terribly). — 
Did not see Betty. 

My next letter will be from Paris, — addressed to Chicago. — God bless 
you, precious friend, for all you give me. 

Yours so much 


Today, at Cook's, I met Mrs Hayes: she had just received a long letter from Mrs 
Woodland, who seems in much better moral conditions. Mrs Woodland is now in 


TEIWARD Scotland. She plans to reach Boston the 10th June (c/o Dr. Philip Grabau, 280 
5^5!^ Fairmont Ave., Hyde Park, Boston, Mass.) 

[Journal] May 1,1935 

You admit the necessity of working through and with material in order to reach 
ideas — abstract or God-like — but you deny the use of the material (humans) in order to 
reach the abstract or God-love — you will say you deny only one part of human love — 
But here I think you are evading the question — for the physical is not only a very impor- 
tant part but an essential part for the race - 1 thoroughly agree that human love should 
become something much finer more spiritual than it is now but it must be throug h human 
love — not denying it — it is like telling someone to stop eating in order to become more 
spiritual — (which would be true for many) but as a principal — Buddha himself tried 
and found absurd — no my dear on that point we do not see "eye-to-eye" — and I think 
that there you refuse to cast off your clerical teachings and look at the facts honestly . You 
have faced all sort of ideas brought to you by your science — But I still feel that you have 
refused to face that idea because your life has made it possible for you to evade it. And it is 
by such people as you that it should be faced and helped not denied 

Peiping, May "2nd", 1935 

Lucile dear, 

Just a word before 1 leave the Peitangfor the station. - Everything all 
right. But "il m'en coute un peu" to leave Peiping, - where 1 had the impression of 
having you, still a little. 

Anyhow, we must face the future, only. It is in the future, that we have to 
achieve the triumph of our mutual conquest. I will do my best for being what you 
love in me. — 

I leave Peiping in the glory of the peonies. — We had a terrible sand- 
storm. But the sky is blue again. Sunday last I saw Betty (very gay and majestic) 
at MacDonald's, who took a good picture of me, which I will send you from 
Paris. — 

The divorce of Rose is to be pronounced the next week . . . unless she with- 
draws, because the Jim's propositions are too little. — 

Grabau is back (today) to Tou Ya Ts'ai Hutung. He will have to exercise 
before being able to walk as before. 

1 don't number this letter: too short 


Teilhard arrived in France after traveling for more than two weeks on the Trans Siberian 

Pans, May 18th, 1935 

Lucile, my dearest, 

Day before yesterday, when 1 reached Paris, 1 found the smile of your let- 
ter (of Easter) waiting for me on this other side of the world, — and I caught it 
with the same deep joy as the real one on the threshold of your little pekinese 

home. You mean so much for me, Lucile, — you, the very expression of my new THEIR 
life, — the last season of my life. — Are you not, now, one of the few who under- 1932 ""** 
stand me as I am. in the truth of myself? After a few days, maybe, I will make my 
readjustment to the old West Presently, I feel still somewhat lost in my ancient 35 
environment Never so much as during the two last years did I cut, consciously 
and unconsciously, the connections with my past: and now, coming back to the 
frame of this past, I scarcely can find myself in the middle of the most familiar 
things; so many are looking so terribly old. — In short, so far, I have experienced 
more mist than thrill. And still, my friends are receiving me gloriously. So much 
of hope they build on me. Am I really able to fulfill this hope? — Helped by your 
active sympathy, I think I will. But I have to retake possession on myself, and to 
fix more clearly my aims. Finally, this trip to Europe was probably more neces- 
sary for me than I thought. In my next letter, I shall be, I hope, in a better position 
for explaining you my internal reactions. I have but little doubt that I am going 
to reach a new level of "passion for the world", and of fighting optimism. But the 
"assimilation" of new elements has first to be achieved, before I can clearly see in 
the spiritual world, in front ofme.I need a renewed expression of myself. I will get 
it from a renewed faith in Life. 

I sent you a short letter before leaving Peiping. — The journey was inter- 
esting, - but spoiled by the numerous (ten!) customs along the railway. Since 
Shanhaikwan up to France, the traveller has the feeling to be an undesirable and 
suspicious man: closely watched all along by the police. — Siberia was still grey, 
with ice piling along the rivers. We spent 5 hours in Moscow. Clouds of 
airoplanes in the sky, and a dull crowd of rather cheerful people in the streets: an 
enormous factory. We need a transformation (and njQ± a suppression) of luxury in 
the modern world, as urgently as a transformation (and not a suppression) of the 
spirit of war. To fight for Beauty, amongst Beauty. 

So far I could judge, an huge wave of heavy paganism and of human 
"depersonalisation" is spreading heavily over Europe. France looks depressed. I 
am not "deconcerte" by this stage of evolution. But we have to overcome it: the 
truth is further, in the same line. 

Next time, I will discuss a little more the appreciation you quote me from 
the Sappho's book. — I do not accept it Love is the primordial strength of the 
world. But precisely on account of that, there is no energy where a transforma- 
tion is more needed, and more going on. We must love more, — but for this 
increase of love, we have to discover larger fields of expansion and deeper zones 
of interpenetration of the life. This is the way we are trying, Lucile. 

I send you this letter to New-York, where you are staying up to June, I 

Be happy, — and God might help you in discovering your life, forward. — 

Yours so much 

"These inspections were usually conducted in the train carriages and often at night. 

TEILHARD /RSJ Here a picture of myself, by Mac. 

&WCILE on the way, I read "Ann Vickers", of Sinclair Lewis, — when I learnt 

CORRESPOND more about the Brevoort! 


Paris, June 4th, 1935 

Lucile, dearest friend, 

Open on my desk are your two last long letters, the one you finished 
before landing in America, — and the one you wrote after your first days in New- 
York (I found it yesterday only, in the Museum). Such a joy for me to feel this per- 
manent contact with you, — and such a joy also to feel you so alive, and so well 
surrounded by your friends! I told you already, Lucile: I would like to be the 
world, to make it so sweet and so strong all around you. — At the end of this let- 
ter, I will try to answer somewhat your philosophical questions. But first I must 
give you a few details on my parisian life. On the whole, gradually, I emerge 
again. And although there is something, now, in myself, which makes me unable 
to become a mere ''Occidental" again, 1 have the impression to be more comfort- 
able with the people and the things, here. In the same time, my mind is more 
vivid, and I begin to be more conscious of the various currents of life around me. 
Politically, France has apparently reached the final stage of "decrepitude". But, 
below the mouldering frame of the old "principes republicans", there is surely a 
rising of fresh energy eager to build something new . Since the war, I had been 
always feeling that the real spiritual divide in the world did no more coincidate 
with the conventional boundaries still expressed by social classes, national fron- 
tiers, and religious orthodoxies. I wonder whether today Humanity is not actu- 
ally splitting into the believers and the misbelievers in a Future of the Universe. 
And I feel more decided than ever to join the first ones, for the conquest of the 
world. - On the other hand, in the course of this new closer contact with my 
Order and my Church, 1 did not discover myself so far apart internally as I was 
afraid from Christianity. And the reason for this better sympathy (or lesser antip- 
athy) lies in my ever-growing appreciation of the value of Personality (I do not 
say "individuality") in the structure of the Universe. Presently I stick to Chris- 
tianity (in spite of so many deciduous elements in Christianity) because Chris- 
tianity is around us the only collective stream of living thought saving and pro- 
moving the idea of a Personal Whole in the world. This is already written in 
"Comment je crois". But, when I wrote it, I did not realize how deep, rich, and 
"envahissante" should be this view in the next period of my life. Most probably, 
my next paper will be on the Personal structure of the Universe. - Now I must 
come to more external news. As you may suscept, I have seen a large number of 
friends, of all kinds, - and I scarcely succeed in answering letters and telephone- 
calls. Jacques is here, in a comfortable flat, surrounded by a brilliant circle of 
highly aristocratic ladies, and just the same: simple, charming and gay, always 
"tendrement devoue" to Mary. He still hopes to come back to Peiping, but noth- 
ing is absolutely sure in this line, so far. - Tomorrow, I have lunch with Haskin. - 
A week ago, I spent a few days in my familial home, in Auvergne. I found my sis- 
ter in slightly better conditions (although the doctors wonder how many months 
she has still to live, - but she has always deceived the previsions of the doctors.), 

and so alive in her mind that the meeting was almost gay. My two brothers (the THEIR 
"country-man" and Hie "parisian") were there: a complete reunion of what is left 1932 ~ 41 
of the family.- Now, I am going to stay in Paris, with the possible exception of a 
few short trips (perhaps to London, at the beginning of July, for the Centenary of $j 
the Geological Survey of England). 

Coming now to the chief questions included in your last letter, I would 
answer as follows: 

(1) When I speak of "action", I mean this particular type of action (the 
true one) by which we gjs& ourselves to the creation and to the worship of a 
greater than ourselves. Now, in this special line of effort, we can "refuse our- 
selves", we can "not-act", unless we recognise that it is worth acting. My thesis 
is that it is not worth acting , unless we act for ever. 

(2) I agree with Wells, at some extent, that: "Man is immortal, but not 
Men". But the question is precisely to decide whether "Man" can be understood, 
finally, as differing from a convergency of the 

Paris, June 16th, 1935 

Lucile dear, 

Since 1 wrote you my last letter 5, 1 have twice found something from you 
waiting for me in the Museum (your letters of May 26th and June 1st). And it was 
such a joy for me, each time, to catch again, in these pages of your dear hand- 
writing, your spirit and your heart, always moving and growing. I enjoy the way 
in which you have been greeted and comforted by so many friends. So you have 
been right, really right, in breaking for some time the "lure" ofPeipingl Yesterday 
I have received a letter from Dr. Treat (she plans to be back in France at the end of 
August): she also realizes that she needs the contact with the more vivid parts of 
our human world, whatever she will have to suffer of it. In your case, happily, the 
contact means hope and new inspiration. Again and again, I am so glad, -for you 
and for me! 

So far I am concerned, things are going in Paris the same way: the whole 
day, practically, I meet friends, of any kind, - and I am far from meeting every- 
body I ought to see. Slowly, I find myself back in the familiar big city. Yet, the 
lack of a positive work to carry on here, and the feeling of an impending depar- 
ture (I have booked my place on S.S. Cathay. P & O., leaving Marseilles for Bom- 
bay on Sept. 6th), give to the whole business something like a touch of 
inconsistancy and irreality.- In addition to a few scientific contributions, my 
best personal achievement, so far, has been to reach a clearer internal view of new 
possible developments in my "philosophy", line "philosophic de V union", basee 
sur une analyse de la structure personnelle de I'Univers, me par ait etre a lafois ce 
dont notre pensee moderne a le plus besoin, et Voeuvre a laquelle je suis le plus 
pret a collaborer. I come more and more to this conclusion by talking with my 
friends, and by watching their reaction (most favourable) to my "Comment je 
crois". Possibly, as a title for a new paper, I will choose this one, - somewhat 

The rest of Teilhard's June 4 letter was not found among Lucile's papers. 

TEILHARD "provocant": "La Structure de I'Esprit", (I will mean by this that the birth of each 

&LUCILE hfa ner spirit is in a strict dependancy of the unification under him of more ele- 
CORRESPOND or r ? j * * 

mentary spirits. "Provocant", I say, because traditional thinkers have always 

3# accepted the idea that spirit is "simple", and hence structure-less (and hence unfit 

for union). - As you see, "La decouverte du Passe" is still waiting for better times 

(but not entirely forgotten).- So theoretical they would seem to be, these present 

ideas of mine are not far, nor so independant from political reactions. Not only 

for internal life, but just so much for international understanding, we need a 

"Philosophy of Union". As you have probably seen in the papers, France is more 

and more lost and depressed: the political "regime" does not work any more. A 

new engine is clearly necessary, - but we have no engineer. Everywhere, in the 

country, small groups begin to rise, each of them with a special periodic paper 

(Esprit, La Terre Nouvelle. VHumanite nouvelle. etc.): the trend of the thought is 

in each case distinctly the same, directed towards a spiritual rejuvenation of the 

world. Something is evidently coming. But, in addition to the birth of a new 

spirit, we need a technician for re-adjusting the Matter around us: and this is a 

most difficult side of the things. — 

As yourself, probably, I feel much concerned, these days, with the new 
developments of the Japanese intrusion in China (begun in 1932 when the Japa- 
nese first invaded Manchuria]. What is going to happen to the Survey, and to the 
Choukoutien work? I have no idea, so far, - and, from this respect, I hate to be in 
France, just now. I think that the best move for the Survey should be (if possible) 
to keep in Peiping at least the Cenozoic Lab., even if it decides to remove to 
Nanking the most part of its library and of its laboratories. But I am afraid that, 
for a question of face, even Dr. Wong will prefer to retreat southwards with 
everything . . . unless (as I almost hope) it is already late. - If necessary, I am 
decided to drop India, and to come straight back to China. - As soon as I have 
news, I will write you. The last letters of Young and Pei (I received them the last 
week) were full of exciting things: new discoveries in Shantung, - a new and per- 
fect jaw of Sinanthropus-child, etc! - 

In your last letter from the boat, there was a point (concerning our pet- 
discussion) which I forgot to answer. You object once more that I am denying, by 
chastity, one of the fundamental laws of the Universe. - 1 told you already how 
hesitating I am in the position which I still keep because I have the dim impres- 
sion that it preserves and saves a deep tendency (and a hope) of the World. Now, 
from this hesitating point of view, I believe that I do not deny the very essence of 
any universal law. Evidently, procreation is necessary for the world, so long this 
world will not have reached as a whole its point of maturity. But procreation is 
not the only, nor the final object of love: love is for union: and a superior type of 
union between man and woman is possibly to be searched, discovered (and grad- 
ually accepted) above procreation. In other words, there is possibly a progressive 
distinction to be established for a man between "Feminity" and "sexuality" (at 
the ordinary meaning of the word) . . . 

— Now, a few social news. I have met Jacques twice more; always very 
gay, — but, the last time, a bit anxious for the future of his Bank in North-China. 
— Nirgidma is on her way back from Palestina. She has been sent by newspapers 

to Morocco, Egypt, etc., in order to study the islamic question (why she, a Mon- THEIR 
gol?), — and I heard that some of her articles have been already published. I 19 ^ 2 ~ 41 
expect to see her at the end of the month. -A fortnight ago, I had lunch a Neuilly 
with the "Pirate" and his most respectable family. In such occurences, I become 39 
myself a member of the family, and I appreciate just so much as before this warm 
friendship. Monfreid hopes to re-integrate Abyssinia with the Italian troops; and 
for complex (personal and political) reasons, he speakes, writes, and lectures as a 
convinced supporter of Mussolini. — War is expected to start there in August. 

I have to stop here, by lack of time. Be happy, dearest, - and God bless 



I am really sorry for Malvina Hoffman. — I will perhaps try to come in touch 
with her. 

Paris, June 30th, 1935 

Lucile dear, 

Here, I answer your sweet letter of June 9th, the last one you wrote me, 
apparently, before going home. I am so deeply pleased to see how vividly you are 
reacting and expanding in your native environment. Yes, let us go, both of us, 
towards a better discovery of the world, ahead. Everything would seem to be an 
impossible mix-up, presently, in the world. Yet, everyday brings me a new evi- 
dence that we are playing our part in the birth of something great. I think that in 
no other times tension for life has been so strong. 

So far 1 am concerned, weeks are passing on in a terrible speed. Did I tell 
you that I have booked a place on s.s. Cathay, P&O., leaving Marseilles on Sept. 
6th? (arriving in Bombay on Sept. 19). I feel as if my time in France was already 
over; and I just begin to be again in touch with people and things! — Anyhow, I 
feel that, for me as for you, this contact with the West was a good thing. I have 
met a large number of friends (known and unknown), this month. And it was a 
real comfort for me to realize how, in spite (or in account) of the fact that I am 
living far away, in the "legend" of the Far East, my influence has kept growing on 
the thoughts of many followers. By a friend of mine, I had "Comment je crois" 
"stenciled" in many copies; and I spread it generously: a safer and possibly more 
efficient process than waiting for a problematical printing. In the meantime, my 
ideas are slowly improving and finding their shape and organization, for "une 
mitaphysique de VUnion". — lam doing very little geology, 1 must confess; and 
although I am more deeply convinced than ever that life is discovery, I feel every- 
day less bewitched by the lure of the Past 

Naturally, I am rather anxious to know what is happening in Peiping. 
Nothing, evidently, to be afraid of concerning the safety of the town. But 1 won- 
der what step is going to take the Survey. At the worst (I mean, if the direction 
migrates to Nanking), some organisation is bound to stay in Peiping, at least for 
Choukoutien. Am I going to have to bridge, at some extent, Chinese and Japanese 
geologists in China? — As soon as I know something 1 will write you. 1 told my 


TEILHARD friends, in the Survey and in the RUM.C. to cable me, in case they want me back 
)D ^j^ immediately. - Nothing to do presently, but to wait, - and to hope. The strength 
which is borne between us, Lucile, is bigger than everything in the world, — 
40 because, 1 am sure, God is there.- 

Yesterday, 1 had a more special thought for you, not only because it was 
the StPeter's day (and do you not achieve me?), but because I went visiting with 
Le Fevre (the writer of the Citroen expedition fla Croisifere JauneJ) the studio of 
an Italian sculptor, Pinienta. This man is working more or less in the same artis- 
tic line as you. But 1 wish you would see how he succeeds, by some "artifices" 
(eyes closed, stylisation of some details in the hair, slight inclinations of the 
head, etc) in breaking the monotony of a buste. If you have a little time to spare 
in Paris, Le Fevre would enjoy to see you, and to introduce you to his friend 
(address of he Fevre: 14 bis. Rue Schnapper, St Germain en Laye, Seine et Oise. He 
comes to Paris in 20 minutes, with his car). Another sculptor 1 know is Raymond 
Delamarre, 11 rue Borromee, Paris (the author of the monument for the defense of 
the Suez Canal, at Ismailia). His wife is a very good friend of mine: just use my 
name. We have now, in Paris, a wonderful Italian exposition, mostly paintings: a 
number of sculptures and "tableaux" have been sent by Mussolini — Unfortu- 
nately, the show will be closed when you come this fall. 

Day after tomorrow I am going to London (Centenary of the Geol. Survey 
of Great Britain) for three days. 1 shall meet several friends, and see the results of 
the pre-historical researches in Palestina. — / have just been interrupted by a 
long and marvelous talk with two young colleagues of mine! 

Many thanks for the clipping concerning de Terra. 

Goodby dearest, 

Paris, July 11th, 1935 

Lucile, dear, 

Here 1 answer your dear letter of June 21, — the first written in Chicago. 
That was a new joy for me to be sure, and to think, that you were back and happy 
at home. Try to catch, at its "maximum", the best of this rejuvenation of yourself 
in your native environment, — and do not let yourself, if possible, turn impa- 
tiently towards the future. Time is required for fruits (do you remember the figs?), 
— and life has to be picked gradually (a mesure). Now you are accumulating (and 
1 too) the supply for a further common progress. Now, in spite of the geographical 
distance, we are conquering each other. Think of that, when you want "so dread- 
fully" to anticipate time, — and let gently the interest of your present life take 
the place, or even become the expression, of your desire. — 1 am glad you can 
work, just a little; this is the salt you need with your present food. — 

So far I am concerned, nothing new. I go on, meeting people, and making 
very little science. Last week, however, I have spent three days in London, for the 
Centenary oftite British Geological Survey. England was so sunny, so green, and 
so gay. I have seen a number of friends. The real reason of this trip, for me, was to 
see, in a Laboratory of the suburb (just close to the house of Darwin, a delicious 
spot in the Kent), the old skeletons dug out, the past years, in Palaestina. I went 

there with the discoverers (Mrs Garrod and McCown), and was charmingly THEIR 
received by Sir A. Keith, one of the most attractive figures of scientist I have ever IM2-41 
seen. He had just enjoyed, a few days before, the visit ofMalvina Hoffman, en 
route for Norway, - and we had a "salade" of the fruits she had brought to him! - 4] 
To morrow, I leave also Paris, for three days, going to the house of a friend, near 
la Loire. I will be back on the 15th, just a day after the famous 14th, - which is 
apparently going to be rather quiet, in spite of the huge political demonstrations. 
Neither party ("fascists" nor "anti-fascists") seems to wish a clash. — Yet, condi- 
tions are rather tense, the weak government being caught between two opposite 
armies: the "Croix defeu", and the "Front commun" (left wing, and communists). 
— My plan is to stay in Paris up to the beginning of August, and then to go for a 
fortnight in my family. — 

Finally, the best personal result of this time spent in France seems to be 
the clearer view I have reached of the new developments still open to my "con- 
structions" of the world. I wish to find, at least the next winter, in Peiping, suffi- 
cient leisures for drawing a first sketch of my "Metaphysique de IVnion"; and 
now again "La decouverte du Passe" insists in myself for coming to birth, with a 
renewed energy. I would like to show you something ready, when we meet in 
Peiping! — Your quotation of "Paganism and Christianity" was most interesting 
(I wonder and like how serious books you are reading!). So curious that, from so 
different sides, people come to the same conclusion! - 

From Peiping, I have no letters since the last move of the Japanese. But, 
as an answer to a letter of mine, Weidenreich has cabled, July 3rd: "Dont worry; 
letter follows". So it seems that there is no serious administrative trouble. Greene 
has definately resigned, I heard. - No news from Rose, nor from Alice. - Here, Nir- 
gidma is back from Tunis; But I could not see her, so far. (address: 5 rue des 
Sablons, Paris XVI.) 

Good bye, dearest. I am so glad to hear that you become an "important 
person"! - Be happy, and quiet, and chiefly keep in you an overwhelming faith in 
the divine world. God bless you. 



Paris, July 20th, 1935 

Lucile dear, 

A few days ago, I have received your precious letter of July 5th. I am so 
glad that you feel happy in your family. Surely, you are accomplishing something , 
just because you are living more, and making other people more alive. Keep your 
heart and your mind open to the best of the world around you, — and do not 
worry if you have the impression of not being able to concentrate: now you are 
absorbing food. — lam always interested by your "religious" reactions. Recently 
1 had to try the value of "Comment je crois" on an English friend (a scientist) 
who, after becoming a catholic (from a Protestant), has left the Church, because 
she had the feeling she could not live in it fully and sincerely. Now, she writes me 
that she follows up to the faith in immortality (inclusively). Further she does not 
like, or she cannot venture: (1) because preservation of Personality (although she 

TEILHARD wants to believe in it) does not seem to her "necessary" (for the structure & equi- 
& LUCILE librium f the World, if I understand her correctly); and 2) because she does not 
see clearly the relations between Universal Christ and historical Christ - Is that 
42 not approximately your own position?- Concerning the necessity of a preserva- 
tion of Personality, I feel more and more convinced that I am right Concerning 
the proportion of historicity necessary for supporting the Universal Christ, I con- 
fess my hesitations (just as for the proportion of flesh necessary for the comple- 
tion, the full health of spirit). We shall try to go further in the problem, next 

Two days ago, I have received a letter from Weidenreich (of July 4th). The 
Cenozoic Laboratory's life is not going to be altered by the political conditions 
(the great question will be to get a new grant of the Rockefeller foundation, next 
autumn: Dr. Houghton has promised to do his best); but it seems that the other 
branches of the survey start their migration to Nanking, — I do not know clearly 
at what extent This move was easy to foresee since two years. But it will seri- 
ously disturb our work. Grabau is probably cursing the Japanese ten times more 
than at usual! By the way, 1 have no news of him nor of Alice (nor of Rose). — On 
the whole, dont be anxious on the matter: in a way or in the other, things will 
readjust themselves; and the work ofC.K.T. cannot be stopped. — 

Nothing special in my life. I go on, rive gauche and rive droite, meeting 
many people (from communist leaders to "marchands de canons"), talking, - and 
wondering whether I am doing really any serious work. Anyhow, my ideas are 
making some progress. But how difficult would it be, if, instead of giving some 
general aims to spirit, I was asked to give a practical opinion concerning the best 
technical way for improving the political and economical conditions of the 
world! . . Who are the most efficient for promising an international agreement: 
socialists or fascists? . . . Really I don't know. The only thing 1 care really for is to 
find, "n'importe ou", faith and hope in the future. 

Yesterday, for the first time, I met Nirgidma (5 Rue des Sablons, Paris 
16.), back from her trip to Morocco, Tunis, Egypt, Arabia and Palestina (she went 
even to Mecca, as a Moslem pilgrim! "Uninteresting", she told me). She looks 
very healthy, and much attracted by Africa. Her wedding with "Philippe" is theo- 
retically fixed for November or December. But, evidently, she is afraid by the 
"bourgeois" surroundings of her possible new family: she still wants to wander 
(as any real people does, is not?). Try to see her, when you pass. — 

On August 6th I will go to Auvergne, to see my family, for a fortnight 
(address here or in the Museum, during that time). Then I will be very close to my 

God bless you, dearest. 


In the P.U.M.C., Greene has resigned, and 
is replaced by an executive Commity of 3 (!): 
Dr. Maxwell, Dr. Lyon, Dr. Wu. 

Paris, August 2nd, 1935 THEIR 
Luciledear, LETTERS 

Here, I answer your letter of July 15th, which I have received with the 
same joy as the other ones. Don't get "nervous", dear, because you may have the 43 
feeling that you are accomplishing nothing. Your chief work, just now, is to come 
in touch with the western world, — and to make your own people happy. Time 
will come in which you will realize and use what you are accumulating during 
your present rest. The great wisdom (and not the easiest one) is to catch, and to 
receive, (and to love), life just as it is, and gradually ("telle quelle, et a mesure"). I 
really believe that there is no deeper "contact" between God and ourselves than 
by the rh ythm of time, which we can not either stop, nor make quicker, — the 
rhythm of the birth of the world. 

Don't worry, neither, if you feel still somewhat difficult to grasp what I 
mean by the "Universal Christ". Just let grow, in your mind, the interest (le gout) 
in the value of Personality, -and also the clear view that Personality (in a higher 
meaning) is not bound to "individuality": Gradually you will understand what 
does mean the love of God. Your plan is good to read again, in a new spirit, the 
Gospel. But, in many parts of the Gospel, you will find chiefly the Man-Jesus. For 
discovering "my" Christ, see specially John, - and also (in his best parts, which 
cannot hurt you) Paul: beginning of the Epistles to Ephes. & Coloss. In Peiping, I 
will show you the best places, (I have filled, in the old times, a full note-book of 

Speaking of Peiping I thank you for the news transmitted from the 
Seaholms. Poor Wong! Day before yesterday came to me the first letter from 
Rose. She seems extremely "soulagee" by being free — Michael was in Peitaiho 
with Germaine, and she was working hard on the Chinese folklore. Her plans are 
the same: to speed up the Michaels preparation in autumn, and to go with him to 
England, next winter. — No news from Alice. Rose was told that Grabau looks 
splendid, and that Mrs Licener would stay on if Mrs Woodland would not return. 
— I wonder, in the reality, what Grabau is feeling and thinking about the partial 
shifting of the Survey to Nanking. His position is somewhat worse than mine. — 
Mrs Hempel has written me a few vivacious lines, on July 17, just before leaving 
for her short trip to America. Concerning the transfer of a part of the Survey to 
Nanking, she says: "I do not believe that it will be too bad for us if Dr. Weidenre- 
ich's plan which he will submit to the Rockefellers Foundation will go through" 
(what we hope). 

I am glad to know your own plans. — Personally, I am leaving after a 
few days to my own country (more "adieux" to do, and possibly, alas, several 
definitive ones: my mother is not strong and my sister worse. I hate these 
"adieux"; — but thinking of you will help me, Lucile, because I have to be always 
the best of myself for you). — On the 20th I will be back to Paris, — and then 
leave, for Marseilles, on Sept. 4 or 5. My address in Bombay (September 20th and 
later) is: St. Xavier's Colleg e (Bombay). BreuiVs address, in Paris: 52. avenue de la 
Motte-Picquet Paris VII (Phone: Suffren — 35.19). — You will reach Dr. Treat by 


TEILHARD my dear friends Begouen (they would like to see you), 26. Rue Raynouard. Paris 
^|f^ 201 (Phone: Auteuil 27.19). She is arriving from Tahiti in the middle of August, 
and will have to face a very difficult sentimental problem. My hope is that she 
44 will not break definitely with her husband: they need terribly each other on a cer- 
tain plane, higher than sex. — Nirgidma has moved: 75, ouai de Conti (no tele- 
phone): her marriage with "Philippe" is theoretically decided for the end of the 
year. But she does not seem really enthusiastic. 

Everything is all right for me. Yet, 1 long for being again myself, at a regu- 
lar work. 

Good bye, dearest 


Auvergne, August 13th, 1935 

Lucile dear, 

The day I left Paris (a week ago) I heard from the Museum that a letter 
has arrived for me, from Chicago (from you, evidently). But I had no time for get- 
ting it, so that I cannot answer you properly this time. Now you are spending 
your last weeks with your family. 1 hope you do not feel anything but comforting, 
and sweet. I would like to make everything sweet around you, Lucile. 

Personally, I am now, for a fortnight with my family in old Auvergne. 
Last week, I spent three full days with one of my brothers (the "countryman"), in 
a very pleasant residence along the Allier river, amongst the same big oaks which 
I knew when I was ten years old. Presently, I am in the family house, on the 
slopes of the mountains, facing a wonderful landscape, — with my mother and 
my sick sister. After three days, I go to another place (also in Auvergne), belong- 
ing to my parisian brother. -Then 1 come back to Paris (on the 20th approxi- 
mately), and I make my last preparations before leaving France. This is the 
external side of my life. 

Internally, I enjoy rather this rest in my native land. Yet, for several rea- 
sons, I do not feel perfectly comfortable. First, on account of the shadow of my 
close departure. But also because 1 cannot readjust myself to an old frame which 
has turned to be almost impersonal to me: in a way, I do not find myself again in 
these familiar landscapes, or rooms, or furnitures, or scents, or noises, — but I 
have only the impression of looking curiously from outside at a child or at a 
young man which "happens to be myself. — And, chiefly for my poor mother 
(but not for my sister), 1 am still this young man! — Better to be away. 

On the whole, conditions here are not specially bright. My mother (83 
years old) is perfectly preserved mentally, but her legs are very weak. My sister 
fights bravely against T.B., but fever does not stop. Both of them have the feeling 
(probably wrong, — but they have it) that we shall never meet again. I realize 
more and more clearly that I did the right thing in coming back to France this 
year. But, when time comes for leaving, then you have to pay. 

Nothing new, besides. Just before 1 left, I had lunch with Nirgidma in her 
charmant appartement, 15, auai de Conti (facing le Vert-Galant, between la Mon- 
naie et Vlnstitut). She was a little depressed ("no interest in life"), although — 
everything seems rather well in her life; — and a bit anxious, because, since 4 

months, she did not receive a single letter from her mother in Peking; and THEIR 
strangely frigid (apparently) concerning the wedding (in November?) She plans to 1932 ~ 41 
spend a fortnight in Tunis very soon. But probably you will meet her when you 
cross Paris, — in October. — 45 

Goodbye, dearest 1 will write you next week, from Paris, when I read 
your letter. Be "strong, and wise", and happy! 



Paris, August 25th, 1935 

Lucile dear, 

Here I answer your three last letters (July 25, Aug 2, and Aug 14.), the last 
one arrived yesterday. I found the two first ones a few days ago, on my return 
from Auvergne, where I have spent, on the whole a happy fortnight. Leaving my 
dear sick sister and old mother was evidently a bit hard, — yet, less hard than 1 
have feared. Sometimes I hope that really I shall see them again. And also, they 
are, both of them, so deeply convinced (and I think they are true) that some other 
better personal life is awaiting us on the other side of the world, that, for them, 
there is no fear of any parting for ever. And why not, after all? — // the best of our 
personality has to be preserved across death, is this preservation possible with- 
out the preservation of our connexions with such other personalities who have 
become a real part of our ownself? — Should I be "complete", Lucile, without 
you? — My best time, in Auvergne, was with my two brothers. Each of them has a 
very fine estate: — old houses, full of familiar scents and noises, — surrounded by 
quiet fields and large oaks. Life is not easy, just now, for a gentleman farmer. Yet, 
the apparent quietness is still there; and I enjoyed it deeply. 

Presently, I am in Paris, very close to my departure. These last days, by 
luck, are not so feverish as they used to be when 1 was leaving France in winter. 
Very few people are left in town, by this time of the year: most of my "adieux" are 
already made. I plan to leave Paris on Sept. 5th, directly to the "Cathay" - and 
Marseilles on Sept 6th. — The boat is due to Bombay on Sept 19th. Address your 
letters: "St. Xavier's College, Bombay". Probably 1 will join de Terra in Rawal- 
pindi before October, but my mail will be forwarded. After Sept. 15 you will 
receive my news in London and Paris, according to your directions. — May this 
end of your visit in America, Lucile, be just so sweet and comforting as the begin- 
ning. After all, if your family comes to China the next year, this is scarcely a sep- 
aration. Anyhow be sure that 1 stand very close to you, Lucile, during these days, 
in which we experience the same things, you and I. — In my next letter, when 1 
have left, I will try to make with you the computation (le bilan) of those last 4 
months; at present, I feel a little lost in a complex whirl of hurried thoughts and 
hurried impressions. A positive fact is that I need to be again at a personal and 
creative work, — for being really again myself. 

My last letter of Peking is from Weidenreich (august 2nd). We seem to 
work successfully in keeping the Cenozoic Lab. alive. In a way, 1 should prefer to 
come back straight to China; but my duty is evidently not to miss the opportu- 
nity of India. — Pei arrives Marseille at the end of the present week, — but goes 

TEILHARD straight to the Pyrenees, where Breuil is waiting for him. So, I shall not see him. - 
& LUCILE jfyfe afternoon, I have an appointment with Nitgidma, who, judging by her letter, 
feels badly depressed. I wonder what is the matter with her: she is really success- 
45 ful socially, — she writes very nice things in the papers. Yet she has no interest in 
life. I wonder whether she is really going to marry Philippe; and sometimes I 
think she would have better not. - Don't forget her address: 15 Quai de Conti, VI. 
I have come back to Paris just in time for seeing Ida Treat (now in 
Bretagne: she asked me your address in Chicago). She looked very well, and per- 
fectly decided to marry her navy-officer. Hope she will be happy! — As generally, 
she had not a cent, but does not mind. She hopes to publish in England and Amer- 

Good by, dearest I have got a fine little book for discussing with you and 
the dogs, next winter: "Essays of a Biologist", by Julian Huxley. - You shall see. 

Ever yours 


No news from Alice?! 

Two weeks later Teilhard wrote to Lucile from aboard ship, en route to India. 

Before Malta. Sept 8th, 1935, S.S. Cathay 

Lucile dear, 

I feel rather angry with myself, — because, with the idea of writing you 
more at leisure, I postponed so well my answer to your dear letter of August 20th 
that I have left France without any word to you! And here, aboard, I got your pre- 
cious lines, written August 16, — a blessing for the beginning of my journey east- 
wards. Thank you so much, Lucile, for your beautiful and comforting friendship. 
Don't agree too easily with myself, dearest. Keep the best of yourself. As my 
present topic is, more and more: "L'union differencie" . There is a full metaphysic, 
ethic and mystic, contained in those three words. 

So, I have left. — Those somewhat dreadful days of parting are over. And 
now, sliding on the deep blue, between white Bonifacio and red Sardinia, the 
Cathay brings me toward a new stage in my life! No retreat. Might God keep me 
on the way (at least morally) up to the end of my life! In spite of many progres- 
sive talks, I felt a bit uneasy, and weak, during those past three months in which 
I had nothing serious "in doing". Now, it seems as if I was breathing more freely, 
— as you like me — 

Nothing particular to tell you, concerning my last fortnight in Paris. I 
wrote you already (am I wrong?) about my meeting with Ida Treat (penniless, as 
usually, — but rich in plans for writing articles and books, - eager, and decided to 
marry "Andre", the naval officer). The eve of my departure, I had an hour with 
Nirgidma, always in quest for an aim in her life. She was in better spirit than a 
week earlier, because she had found a way forgoing to Tunisia (where she hopes 
to get, in the course of a fortnight, the material for an interesting publication). 
Still she is not happy, in the deep of herself; — and if she marries Philippe, there is 

no real love between them, but only sympathy. She is very anxious not to miss THEIR 
you in Paris, in October. — Besides, I have met several good friends (in my 19&-41 
Order). Really, I feel ashamed when I realize how much they build on me, — 
because (and that i s true. Lucile) I am conscious of so little in myself! What com- 47 
forts me is to think that my strength, if not in my own value, radiates from the 
truth of what I believe to $£&. And this is the best success I can dream for my life: 
to have spread a new vision of the world. 

The Cathay is a rather nice boat, — but in which everything looks so 
much "half category": people, rooms, etc. Just a piece of middle England. Of 
course, this hasty judgement might turn to be unfair after a few days. But I do not 
care very much; I am decided to work, before Bombay: fixing up a Memoir ofPei, 
and writing "La decouverte du Passe" (in a somewhat different term from my 
first scheme). The only trouble is that the boat is full up, — and consequently the 
decks crowded. But I will manage in spite of that. (An amusing detail: a place 
having to be filled, in the dining-room, at a four-seats table occupied by three 
(perfectly unoffensive) girls, the chief-steward has decided by himself to give me 
this "poste de confiance": you will smile. — 

Now I wonder where this letter is going to join you. I will mail it today 
from Malta. But where to address it? — I could not read exactly the place of your 
hotel in New-York. So, I try again Chicago. Later, I will use Cook and the Ameri- 
can Express when you are in Europe. 

Good bye, dearest. 


My congratulations for your beginnings in type-writing. — I am sure you are 
going to find this way of writing most convenient, even for letters. 

Teilhard arrived in Bombay on September 19 to join the Yale-Cambridge expedition that 
studied glaciation of the Pleistocene and tried to knit together the geology of India and that 
of China. 

St Xavier's College. — Bombay, Sept 23, 1935 

Lucile dear, 

I hope you have received, somewhere, my letter n.13, which I sent from 
Malta (Sept 8th) to Chicago. This time, I wish these lines might reach you at your 
arrival in England, to tell you how close I feel to you during your long journey 
back to Peiping. I hope that parting from Chicago was not too hard, for yourself, 
nor (chiefly!) for your family. Left behind people are always in the worst posi- 
tion. — Now I enjoy thinking that you are travelling in a new and interesting 
world of things, friends, etc. But you come to Europe just for the climax of the 
present crisis with Italy. I still think that we shall not go to the war. At the 
worst, you could come back to China by Siberia. — 

'Unfortunately, Teilhard misjudged events. Italy invaded Abysinia (Ethiopia) ten days 

TERHARD Personally, I have arrived the 19th in Bombay after a perfectly quiet trip. 

& LUCILE jfa jkj sea was ver y fo^ h oweverf _ w i n d blowing from North. Gradually, my 

first impressions concerning the passengers turned to better. Amongst the British 

4g returning to India, I discovered a score of perfectly sympathic men, — and in 

addition an Australian, in the tin business of Malaya. I enjoyed sincerely talking 

with them, — and may be we shall meet again, someday. 

Bombay is an extensive, but rather uninteresting city, in spite of many 
ambitious buildings in the anglo-indian part of the town. The monsoon is fust 
over, and consequently the heat is growing. But I enjoy rather the sight of the big 
blooming trees, and of the palm-trees, and of the green parrots so talkative and 
busy. Tropical surroundings have always appealed to me. — In St Xavier's col- 
lege, I was very kindly received. In addition to my Spanish colleagues (I do not 
like them specially) in charge of the college, are several Belgians, Dutch, and also 
a French, with whom I have immediately felt very friendly. We have long talks 
together, about India, France, and also more philosophical subjects. 

And, this evening, I am leaving by the "Frontier mail", arriving day after 
tomorrow in Rawalpindi (Pendjab). The British of the Expedition, Dr. Patterson, 
will wait for me, there; — and the day after, I suppose, we shall join de Terra in 
Srinagar (Kashmir), — a 8 hours trip by motocar. Then, the real work will begin, 
at last — I will let you know the developments. 

In the meantimes, I wish you any kind of luck for your staying in Europe. 
Finally, I wrote, on the Cathay, a few pages on "La decouverte du Passe". I won- 
der whether they are right or not Anyhow, I made my mind more clear and free on 
the subject; and this was my first aim. I have sent a copy to France: for publica- 
tion? — You will read my text, in January, - and we shall discuss. — 

Goodbye, dearest. / think you are more precious to me than ever. 


After visiting her family in Chicago and friends in the East, Lucile sailed for England in 
September, her first stop on the way back to Peking. From a houseboat on the Jheluma 
River in Kashmir, Teilhard wrote to Lucile about the work they were to do in northern 

Srinagar (Kashmir), 
Oct 2nd, 1935 

Lucile dear, 

I have just realized that, if I wish to reach you in Paris, I must write you 
at once, and by air-mail. Time is running so fast! 

I hope you have well received my letter n.Ufrom Bombay (sent to Lon- 
don, do Cook, on Sept. 23). At that time, I was perspirating in a tropical atmo- 
sphere. Today, I am in the Kashmir's capital, on a houseboat, among deep carpets, 
comfortable armchairs, and obsequious high-"enturbannes" boys. Weather is 
sunny and cool. And, on both sides of the broad, green, valley, an unlimited line of 
snow-capped peaks make a white barrier in the blue sky: the Pir Panjal (15,000 

feet) south, and the Central Himalaya, north. I think I would enjoy ten times THEIR 
more this extraordinary scenery, if you were here; and I know that you would 1952m41 
make me ten times more aware of the endless picturesque sides of this curious city 
where the most luxurious India is coming in contact with the thihetan wilder- 49 
ness. An incredibly wealthy maharadjah has here his palace; and strange-look- 
ing, dirty, people come everyday, down the Pamir and Karakorum passes, with 
their caravans ofyacks and poneys. For a week, I have been brought four years 
back, to the time of the Citroen Expedition, In some way, the tracks of the 
Haardfs motocars are still to be seen on the Kashmir's roads. And, at the same 
time, they are so many common features between the Kashmarian landscape and 
the Sinkiang's oasis in which I have been living exactly at the same time of the 
year. . . Here, however, everything looks greener and richer than in Aksu. In the 
bottom of the valley, gigantic maples-looking trees (a kind of "plantane") turn 
red under the first touch of autumn, and roads are bordered by tight rows of high 
poplars. Higher, along the slopes big walnut-trees and apple-trees (red with 
apples) surround the small villages. Still higher, the dark belt of the fir forests, — 
the home of bears and mountain-monkeys. And then the "prairies": and then the 
barren rocks; and then the snow. —And, over all that, the mysterious spell of Cen- 
tral Asia. I think that everybody, coming here, is attracted by going more and 
more northwards, up to China. Yet, tomorrow, we are turning back, to Rawal- 
pindi. This time, my work is in India. — 

Now, after so many descriptions, I must explain you more clearly how 
the matter stands with the present expedition. Everything seems all right. My 
two associates, Prof, de Terra (from Yale Univ.), and Patterson (a young man of 
Cambridge), are very charming companions, and have already reached many 
important results. More specially, they have carefully studied the glacial forma- 
tions of Kashmir as a key for the interpretation of the Himalaya's foothills, — 
and that is precisely in order to understand their views that I have come up to 
here. — Now, we are going to spend October in Rawalpindi and West Punjab. 
Later, I will move eastward to the Simla area; then to Calcutta, and possibly 
Madras. In any way, the work will end before Christmas, since de Terra has to 
leave for America in January. — / will let you know everything, from time to 

I hope to find my mail day after tomorrow, in Rawalpindi. May I have a 
letter of you! Now you are approaching England. I like so much to think that you 
are going to breath the air of Paris. — The trouble, only, is that I don't see clearly 
where to address you my letters, now. Maybe your next letter will give me the 
name of your boat, so that I can write you in Ceylon. Otherwise, I will address to 

Goodbye, dearest. God bless you 


As you see, I am still eager for Geology. 
But, in the same time, I realize more and more 
that I do not belong any more "to the Past"! 

TEIWARD Rawalpindi, Oct 7th, 1935 

CORRESPOND Incite dear, 

1 wrote you a few days ago. But this time 1 want to send you at least a 
50 few lines, answering your dear letter of Sept 22 (New York) which has arrived 
today. I am so glad that you feel again happy and active, after the parting from 
your family. When this letter will reach you, in Paris, 1 hope you will be in "full 
life". — Thanks for having told me about Mrs Woodland. 1 write her today, in 

Here everything is going all right. The last days, spent around Rawal- 
pindi, have been specially interesting. Lot of old stony implements at the base of 
a formation which looks exactly as the Chinese loess. Tomorrow, we leave for a 
fortnight trip in the Punjab's bad lands. Then we come back here. December will 
soon arrive, I guess. In the meantime, weather is gradually cooling. Yet, my arms 
are quite burnt by the sun. But this is all right To be on the field makes me 
younger than the streets of dear Paris. — I am happy to be on the work, again; 
and 1 realize that, once more, 1 have been right in taking the chance of a new field 
for research. 

1 hope that the Suez Canal will not be closed this month! Then you could 
come back by Siberia (a very easy journey), or round Africa (what a wonderful 
trip!). This Abyssinian business is an awful thing; and although I admit that 
Abyssinia has to be taken under some control, the Mussolini's hypocrisy goes 
over the limit. Exactly la fable du Loup et de VAgneau. We shall have lot of talk- 
ing about these things, next winter. By the way, did you read "Fountain" by Ch. 
Morgan? I read it on the boat, and bring it to you. — An ample matter for discus- 
sion, also! 

1 leave you for packing. — Goodbye, dearest, and might God bless your 


Let me know, by air mail, when you pass Ceylon, or eventually Bombay. Before 
the November 1st you may address: do Postmaster Rawalpindi. Later, address: 
St. Xavier's College, Bombay. 

While working near Rawalpindi (and afterwards in the Punjab), Teilhard received a letter 
Lucile had written and mailed from London. Subsequently, she went briefly to Paris and 
then in mid-October sailed from Antwerp for China. 

Rawalpindi, October 29th, 1935 

Lucile dear, 

And now you have already left Antwerp, and you are sailing for Peiping! 
1 realized it only this morning, in checking the dates you give me in your precious 
letter from Paris which came a few days ago. — And this constatation has made 
me so conscious (and so "feeling") of the fact that we are actually at a few weeks 
only of being together again. Lucile, yesterday 1 have received the "explosion" of 

London. Why do you ask me to forgive you anything about it? You are so true in THEIR 
what you say, — so yourself, — "si belle", dearest, —that it is rather my part to 193> 2-41 
pray you to forgive toe for the somewhat extraordinary path along which I have 
asked you to come with me. And yet, I still believe it; — We are making together a 52 
wonderful discovery, Lucilel In the meantime, let us not discuss too much about 
words. You know how and how deeply I love you, Lucile. Let us go on, develop- 
ping, along the rich and always new and fanciful lines of the life, the beautiful 
thing which is borne, above all name, between us. That what is really new has no 
name, — isn't true? — Well, I have enjoyed immensely your two last letters, — 
each in its way. And I am only sorry that the present one will not reach you 
before Shanghai, — not so far away after all I will think of you, at the middle of 
November, when your boat will skirt India: since months we shall not have been 
so close each to the other. — Everything you told me about Paris (concerning 
yourself and our friends) was for me delightful I am so glad you have seen and 
appreciated the Begouens: they are such a treasure. For Nirgidma, I too I feel anx- 
ious. Evidently, her place would be in Asia. Anyhow, they are gradually so many 
new things and people in common in our lives, yours and mine. I like to feel it. — 
Here, everything is going on, all right. Since my last letter (October 7th) I 
have spent a fortnight with de Terra in the half desertic area of the Salt-Range, 
living in tent or in bungalows, moving with cars or camels. An extremely dry and 
rocky hilly region, where every plant is thorny or pricky, trees or grass. And yet, 
light and sky are so beautiful that I liked it. The first days were very hot. Later 
the wind went north; and since that time the mornings are almost chilly. But the 
middle of the day is still warm: my arms are completely tanned. Tomorrow, we 
are leaving to Campbellpore on the Indus Valley, north of here. Last week, we 
have located there a promising fossiliferous site, which we must excavate. Rela- 
tively to Rawalpindi, Campbellpore marks a new step towards desert and Cen- 
tral Asia: landscape is almost a Chinese one. And every site, here around, is so 
pregnant of very old "aryan" history, so poetical A great, ancient, human past is 
a good platform for jumping in the Future. Today, we meet Sir Aurel Stein, the 
hermit of Kashmir. I am curious to see this man who has got a so marvelous 
insight of ancient Central Asia. — On the whole, we are making marked 
progresses in our own geological and prehistorical work, de Terra and 1. 1 shall 
explain you all these things between Spotty and Dungshi. The main fact is that I 
am tremendously glad to have joined de Terra this season. I did not realize how 
much the present trip would complete and achieve my knowledge of Asia. Really, 
as we told so often, the great thing is to obey life. — My plans ahead are rather 
vague. The clearest part of them is that I shall be in Calcutta before Xmas, and 
leave Ceylon at the very beginning of January (perhaps a bit earlier). If so, I 
should be in Peiping on about the 20th of January, - somewhat later, maybe, than 
you would like. Be sure that I will not loose time on the way. In December, you 
might address your letters: do RVF. Lechien, Archbishop's House, 32, Park Street, 

The "explosion" refers to an emotional outburst of a frustrated Lucile. Perhaps she had 
wanted to join the expedition to India. 

TEEHARD Calcutta. — By the way, I have been amused and interested by your reaction 
& LUCILE a g a i ns t the New York priests; you will explain me. In some way, you know how 
much, generally, I react as you. But there is also something deeper, not to befor- 
52 gotten. — And also we shall discuss Abyssinia. I hate the Italian hypocrisy,- and 
their boasting for the capture of Adowa [Asmara]: Goliath proud to have 
defeated naked David. And I hate the silence of the Vatican, too. And yet, Abys- 
sinia could not remain as it was. — Things are so complicated, sometimes. — My 
most friendly regards to the Petros, and to the Peiping's friends (Grabau, Alice, 
Germaine, Rose, etc.) I have been much distressed by the Wilder's death, which I 
did not know.- Good bye, dearest 


Jhelum (Punjab), November 13th, 1935 

Lucile dear, 

A few lines only, because I suspect strongly that this letter will never join 
you. — Anyhow, I will try my chance of telling you how I enjoyed your letter 
from Antwerp. — You are so much for me, Lucile; and I will be so happy to see 
you again. 

We are working at present south of Rawalpindi. — Plans are always 
changing, so far as the time before December 15th is concerned. Possibly we shall 
go, de Terra and I, on the Narbada river (Central India) between December 1st and 
15th — After the 15th, I go to Calcutta. And then the boat. Everything all right. — 
I think that you are now approaching India! 



Rawalpindi, Nov 19th, 1935 

Lucile dear, 

I wonder whether you will have received the few lines I have sent you 
from Jhalum to Singapore, — but I hope that my letter 18 was given to you at 
your arrival in Shanghai. - Anyhow, 1 wish that my deepest thought and feeling 
might reach you as soon as possible after your coming in Peiping. When I think 
that you are going to open this letter near the trees of your little Chinese home, 
between the two dogs, and under the friendly eyes of old Wang, that gives me a 
thrill If I could only slip myself in the enveloppl — Now, you have passed Cey- 
lon, and you are approaching the green shallow water of Malacca. Very soon I am 
going to follow your track. — lam sure that you are going to find so much your- 
self in the shadow of the Imperial palace. 

Personnally, I am all right, — and going on in researches which are for 
me more interesting every day, according to that I can grasp better every day the 
problems in a personal way. — But a few weeks only are left now for research. 
Tomorrow, we are leaving de Terra and I, for the Lower Indus, near Karachi. (24 
hours by railway). Then we plan to come here a last time, for packing. Then, at 

the beginning of December, we shall go to Central India, along the Narbada river. THEIR 

Short after Dec. 15th I have to be in Calcutta, in order to sail to Shanghai, — 1932-41 

directly from Calcutta, or from Ceylon, I dont know. In anyway, the end of my 

Indian experiences is approaching fast I will explain you how much this trip has 53 
been useful for me. Really, independently from the positive results we have 
reached, I have the feeling, to have acquired new eyes for understanding "the geol- 
ogy of China". 

Your last letter (sent from Antwerp, and which I tried to answer by air- 
mail to Singapore) made me an immense pleasure. It seems to me that by having 
so many friends in common in France now, you have become still more a part of 
mine. The Begouens wrote me how much they have appreciated you, and like you. 
"Quelle femme interessante! Tant d 'intelligence et de sensibilite harmonieuse- 
ment reunies en elle". (Don't be vain). —-lam sorry you could not see I. Treat. — 

Hope you have found a sunny weather (and not too many Japanese) in 
Peiping. Here, the conditions are simply exquisite. Two days ago, in the bad 
lands, I had the most beautiful evenings of my time in India. The sun was gold 
over the yellow and pink clays of the dissected desert, — over the dry grass and 
the thorny trees of the bush; and, just like firm white clouds in the blue sky of the 
East, the snowy lofty Fir Fanjal (the last born himalayan range) were floating 
above the landscape. And troops of green parrots were incessantly passing too. — 
I am anxious, now, to see a little more of central India. 

I dont think that you can reach me now by any letter before I leave Cal- 
cutta (Archbishop's House, 32, Park Street). But I will write you regularly. — 
Give my best regards to Rose, to Mac, to Grabau, — and to Alice. I wrote her 
some 3 weeks ago. Tell her that the Bowles are here (she went with them to 
Choukoutien, with Don.), on a scientific trip. Unfortunately, Dr. Bowles has 
become sick, a fortnight ago. He has lost much weight, and one does not know 
exactly what is the matter with him. Rawalpindi does not seem to have first 
class doctors. 

Good by, dearest, 

Yours ever 


Herewith a few flowers of the bush. They 
were so exquisitely fragant. But they lost 
their strange perfume. They are growing on 
a thorny liane, without any leaves on it 

Rawalpindi, Nov 29th, 1935 

Lucile dear, 

Just before leaving North India, I wish to answer your dear letter of Nov 
3 (Port Said) which I found here two days ago, when coming back from the Kara- 
chi area. I have greatly admired and appreciated your typewriting (the hand- 
sratching was also therefor establishing your individuality). But chiefly I was so 
happy to be sure that everything was all right, in you, and around you. Now I am 

TE1LHARD only afraid that you will have to reach Tientsin by boat: the papers of this morn- 

& LUCILE j n ~ are fuU of bad news concerning the Japanses moves in the North. That makes 
CORRESPOND d J J . , , * r ... * A ¥t „ < . 

me ever more anxious to be back as soon as possible. And yet (you will forgive me 

54 dearest?) I am afraid not to arrive but a week later on my scheme. A letter from 
Java (von Koenigswald), received yesterday, urges me to stop a few days in Ban- 
doeng, - and for serious reasons. They have been many finds, there, during the last 
year. That would be a '' fault 1 ' of mine not to take the opportunity of criticizing 
personally the facts, and of tightening the collaboration between Peiping and 
Java. I had the idea to go there with Weidenreich during the Spring. Following the 
Koenigswald's suggestion will save me time (in Peiping), and money. — My first 
thought was for you, dearest. But I thought also that you would tell me to do th& 
best — just as I want to be the best for you, too. So I have answered to Koenig- 
swald that I was coming. Maybe I will find the way, in Calcutta, to start earlier 
from India, so that my final "retard" will be very slight I will let you know as 
soon as I can. — 

Last week, we went, de Terra and I, to Sukkur, on the lower Indus, not far 
from the Beluchistan border. Professionally the trip was successful, since we 
found a large area simply littered with old stony implements. But, from the pic- 
turesque side also, we have been fully rewarded. The Sind is much more like Egypt 
or, I suppose, Mesopotamia than anything else — Along the majestic Indus, high 
and triangular white sails move slowly, between dense patches of date-palms. 
On both sides, with the exception of a few low hills of white limestone, the coun- 
try is absolutely flat, sandy or silty: an endless tamaris-bush which a powerful 
irrigation scheme (started fifteen years ago) turns slowly into cotton-fields. And, 
above that, a perpetually clean, blue sky. Weather pretty hot; but I like it We 
spared a day for visiting the famous Mohendjo-Daro, the center of the "Indus 
civilization", discovered and partly excavated since the war. The city (3,000 B.C. 
or more), partly unearthed, looks amazingly modern: rectangular streets, houses 
built in red bricks with an elaborated irrigation system, etc. I will tell you more 
about that, in a few weeks. 

This night we are leaving for Lahore (1 day), then Delhi (1 day), then Cen- 
tral India, where we plan to work some twelve days. Then I go to Calcutta, — 
from where I will write you again. 

Nothing specially new, besides. Yet, a mesure que le temps passe, I realize 
curiously how deep is the change which, in a year, has darkened for me "the 
Past", and illuminated "the Future". I still work my science steadily, and with 
pleasure: but the real interest of my life has shifted away elsewhere, definitely. — 
My next paper will probably be: "The personal Universe". I shall talk it over with 

Good bye, dearest 


*A pre-historic "copper" city and the first known site of Aryan civilization, it is northeast of 
Karachi, in Pakistan. 

Calcutta, Dec 16th, 1935 THEIR 
Lucile dear, LETTERS 

Yesterday, arriving in the Archbishop's house (!) I found your dear letter 
from Singapore (so well typed!), which I liked so muck I got also a number of our 55 
solemn review "Les Etudes", with "La Decouverte du Passe" printed without any 
suppression. Just a bit of conceited dynamite in this wise periodic. Almost 15 
years I had published nothing there ...I am so glad you like "Comment je crois". 
We shall have to improve it, during this winter. By the way, when I say that 
Christ saves Evolution, I mean that, in its present human state and stage (that is 
dealing with rational beings) Evolution can not go further without the perception 
of some Personal Center of the Universe ahead; and Christ is the present expres- 
sion (or approximation of such a Center. Now, I would admit that, for animating 
(without checking) further progress, the figure of Christ has to evolve itself: this 
is the whole modern problem of Christianity. For my part, I confess that often I 
am conscious that my position induces me too much to force the new Universe to 
the conservative figure of Christ, instead of reshaping a New Christ in conformity 
with a new Universe. But I hope that things will gradually adjust themselves. — 
Some progress, I hope, will be realized if my plan of writing "A personal Uni- 
verse" materializes, in 1936. 

So I am now in Calcutta, — for a short time. I have booked on a steamer 
(Dec. 22) for Singapore and Batavia, via Rangoon, — arriving in Batavia Jan. 4th. 
If I find a boat in Java before the Jan. 15th, 1 will reach Shanghai approximately 
in time for being in Peiping before the 25th . I will write you in the meantime. You 
can address me a letter for Jan. 20 in Shanghai "Eglise St Joseph, Rue Mon- 

My last letter was from Rawalpindi. This last fortnight, was probably 
the most delightful period of my time in India. We spent it in Central India, along 
the sacred Narbada River, in small towns known as Hoshangabad and Narsingh- 
pur. A wonderful, scarcely hot, bright weather. A golden light was spread over a 
lovely country, thickly spotted with huge ever-green trees: mango-trees, banyans, 
etc. On both sides of the valley, the tabular masses of the Penninsular India's 
ranges, covered with dense jungle (A Tigers jungle!). You could see peacocks flying 
in the woods, a few crocodiles in the river, and lot of dark-faced, white-bearded, 
long-tailed monkeys everywhere in the bush and along the roads. Native people 
exceedingly clean and amiable, the men with white clothes and turbans, the 
women all in pink or scarlet veils, — much better-looking than in Punjab. No 
European faces, practically. — Geologically, we had a grand time, exploring for- 
mations which had been left untouched since 1850! — Lot of beautiful old pale- 
olithic implements (a single one had been found 80 years ago), and interesting 
stratigraphy. It is a real delight to make good finds in a perfect landscape. 

Here, in Calcutta, I am most cordially received by my colleagues, and 
also by the people of the Geological Survey of India. Much to work, there. 

More than ever, I am anxious to be soon back in Peiping in order to see 
personally what the conditions are, for the Survey. - (and to see you) . I found here 
a long letter from Alice [CosmeJ. There are some bright prospects in front of her, 

TEILHARD — but many clouds, also. And the sympathy did not improve much for Dr. G.l If 
& LUCILE y OU see neff t e n ner ffaf i w jh an$wer neTf — an d was extremely glad she wrote 

me. - My most friendly regards to Rose. And to you, dearest, the best of my heart. 


Be happy! A bientot. 
I have received aJL your letters since America. 

Singapore, Dec 31st, 1935 

Lucile dear, 

Last year, I remember, at this very time, you were dressed as a restau- 
rant-maid, and we were organizing together your New-year's party. And, the day 
after, we were going to have our private evening. And, the day after, I was leaving 
for the Kwangsi. — Today, I am far from you. But I am coming, very soon. And, in 
the meantime, I don't think that ever I have wished for you more deeply, more fer- 
vently, any kind of happiness than today. Yes, God bless your new year, dearest, 
with all the most precious blessings of Earth and Heaven. — / know that now, at 
the present minute, you are also making for me the same "prayer"; — and I 
receive with my whole heart this loving message of you, — cotntne une binidic- 

My last letter was written in Calcutta (Dec. 17).* On the 22nd I have left 
India, — and, by Rangoon (a very pretty place, all shining with gold pagodas!), 
and by Penang, I took slowly my way to Singapore, where I have arrived today, 
— almost on your track, this time. — Here, unfortunately, 1 have to wait three 
days almost, the Batavia boat leaving only on the Jan. 3d. Yet, after that, 1 shall 
make good time. My ticket is already booked on a Dutch steamer leaving Batavia 
on Jan. 15th for Shanghai: so that, you see, I shall be scarcely a few days late on 
my first scheme. And that will be such an advantage for me to have seen the peo- 
ple working, and the Pithecanthropus material collected, in Java! — / have to 
make myself such as you can be proud of me, Lucile. 

Nothing much to tell you about the last fortnight. Life on the steamer 
was perfectly monotonous, — and I did not make any particularly interesting 
acquaintance. Luckily, I was alone in a decent cabin. So that I decided, in leaving 
Calcutta, to use these days for making the "spiritual retraite" for which I had 
found no time since the one 1 made when you were in Mongolia (August 34). — 
This is a social rule fa rule of the Society of Jesus]; but, as you know, I need pos- 
itively, periodically, this kind of contact with the spiritual world. — So I am, 
once more "remonte" - wound up (is it the proper word? I have no lexicon here). 
And, in addition these are 8 days which I shall not have to spend in Tientsin this 
winter. A double gain, for you, I hope. 

The "Dec. 17" date for the Calcutta letter seems to be a simple calendar error on Teilhard's 
part. Only the letters of the 16th and the 31st were among Lucile's papers. 

I wonder whether I shall find any opportunity for sending you a letter no. THEIR 
22. Anyhow, I hope to find news of you, short after the Jan. 20th in Shanghai 1932 " 41 
(Eglise St. Joseph, Rue Montauban, pour attendre) . 

Yours, so much 57 


January 27, '36 (11), 5.5. Tjineyara 

Lucile dear, 

The twelfth day since we have left Batavia! I did not expect that would 
take so long. We have lost a full day by the bad weather. — Still, here we are. In a 
few hours, I shall be ashore in Shanghai, and send you a telegramm. 

Everything all right. My stay in Java was delightful, and chiefly full of 
unexpected results. Real discoveries, — linking so beautifully with the results in 
India. I shall explain you everything. Such a pity if I had not gone there. So you 
forgive me, sure? — 

Now, I will lose no time for reaching Peiping. Yet, I must spent 48 hours 
in Shanghai, — perhaps (I hope not) stay a few hours in Nanking, — and finally 
give a short time (a day, or two) in Tientsin: for decency, - and because I need to 
pick up there some fur-coats. — / hate these protractations, and would a hundred 
times prefer to jump in the Blue Express straight to Peiping and Ta Hen Shui 
Ching Hutung (what a name!). But you will understand. 

Anyhow, we are very close now. Such a full and solid joy, dearest! 

Be patient, and believe me yours deeply 

Teilhard, working with von Koenigswald in Java as he had with de Terra in India, helped 
establish the connection between the Pithecanthropus and Sinanthropus hominids. See Let- 
ters from a Traveller, p. 218; and Cuenot's Teilhard de Chardin, pp. 191-93. 

[Telegram] Shanghai, Jan 28. 1936 
Well arrived come soon love Pierre 

Tientsin, Feb 1. 1936 (Saturday) 


I have arrived in Tientsin today, morning, only, - after a day spent in 
Nanking. Impossible to leave Tientsin before next Tuesday (Feb. 4). — But Tues- 
day, I will take the morning train, and come to you for tiff in. At last! 

Thank you so much for your two letters, found in Shanghai! 

A tres bientot 

On May 4, 1936, Teilhard finished "Esquisse d'un univers personnel"— later translated as 
Sketch of a Personalistic Universe (See Human Energy, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanov- 
ich, 1969; pp. 53-92). He began writing it during the Batavia-Shanghai trip and re-worked it 

TEILHARD in the Spring of 1936. The essay considers the mutual attraction of the sexes in the develop- 
& LUCILE ment of life. "In its initial form, and up to a very high stage of in life, sexuality seems iden- 
CORRESPOND tified with propagation/' But with the appearance of human beings this attraction serves 
rather to bring about the mutual development of their personalities. 
58 "Through woman and woman alone, man can escape from the isolation" in which 

he could find himself enclosed. Yet the man and woman should not absorb one another, 
nor "should the two lose themselves in the enjoyment of physical possession." Rather, "the 
only right love is that between couples whose passion leads them both, one through the 
other, to a higher possession of their being." For love is "a three-termed function: man, 
woman, and God." In such a love the human passion is sublimated; this means "not an 
elimination but a concentration of the sap of the earth." Thus, "without ceasing to be phys- 
ical, in order to remain physical, love will make itself spiritual. Sexuality for the man will 
be satisfied by pure womanliness. Is not this the dream of chastity translated into reality?" 

[Journal — Peking] 

May 6 — 1936 — My whole world seems to have tumbled down — / suppose 
nothing has changed — I only see more — perhaps it is as well — I liave been living in a 

fool's paradise and I've been awakened — no it wont change everything — only my 

point of view - there isn't anything perfectly beautiful on this earth — I suppose that is 

why religion has always had a place Probably I shall see clearer in a few days — the 

hurt is too new, too raw to be forgotten just now — it is out of perspective — I can't see 
anything clearly or correctly — I suppose a lot of the things I have been living on were 
built by my own imagination — that is not his fault — He is sincere in his desire to make 
me happy — It was I who built that happiness on blocks of ideals — now I must try to 

build it over on realities — If I can know what they are His birthday was so perfect 

— I thought we were really so close — and yet the next morning there was that feeling 
that it was not real / suppose I realized inside of me tliat much of it was my working. 

May 7th, 1936 



Since yesterday, I suffered much (more, I think than ever in my life) 
because I have realized that you were still more dear to me than I knew, — and 
that, at the same time, I might be a danger for you. — When, years ago, I began to 
see you, Lucile, I had (so far I can understand my instinctive attitude of that 
time) the feeling and the hope that you would (as you did) enlighten my life, — 
and that in turn I could give you a new energy for becoming more yourself, an 
§M£Xgy, Lucile. And now I realize that I have become for you a center which has 
not, I am afraid, the material consistency which would be required for a safe sup- 
port of your life. — To be an energy, and yet not a center. Is that a mere Utopia? — 
Think of that, Lucile, — and tell me what you think. — What is born between us 
is for ever: I know it. — But if you see something which could help your happi- 
ness and your peace, in any possible way, tell me, I pray you. My dream is to 
make you gloriously happy. 


[Peking] May 12th, 1936 THEIR 
Dearest, LETTERS 

1 hope that in spite of the grey weather they are no clouds on your soul, 
today. — Once more, with all my heart, 1 have been thinking of you and me, since 59 
yesterday. And I come always to this same conclusions that, if you don't find me 
as you would, the reason is not any petty foreign intrusion between both of us, — 
but the presence of God whom I love as a Person, and to whom 1 have to give the 
final activity of my life. For me, the whole problem is there, and the reason for 
which you find me somewhat elusive or reluctant You, you are searching an equi- 
librium "a deux"; and for me, this is a question "a trois". — My conviction, I told 
you already, is that the third element is not a barrier, nor a sort of "rival". I hold 
(and I experiment) that he brings me, on the contrary, a sort of new dimension, in 
which love expands more freely, and reaches an incredible degree of consistency. 
But, at the same time, I am still "inhabile" in moving in this new atmosphere, — 
and, for many reasons, you can not perceive it clearly. Hence, a lack of adjust- 
ment Yet, 1 think we can fly, both together. In the meantime, let us forget the 
weakening analysis and hesitations, — and concentrate on the joy of the creation 
and of the discovery. I am not a preacher, you know it, Lucile, but a desperate 
searcher. And you come to me as a light — On another hand, any time you will 
need to collect yourself, — to be alone (materially) with yourself, just tell me. You 
are too much for me pour que rien puisse me couter, me lasser, ou me detacher de 


A demain 5h. 

About two months later, while Teilhard was starting out on a survey trip based at Tsingtao 
in Shantung, he wrote her a short letter about his current geological interests. He wanted 
eventually to develop a comprehensive map of the eruptive rocks of China, hence his keen 
interest in the Laoshan hill country. 

Tsingtao, July 16th, 1936 

Lucile dear, 

We arrived here in excellent conditions, Tuesday, Whp.m., and found 
immediately a decent and inexpensive place in a very clean small Chinese hotel, 
close to the station and to the sea. Everything all right Tsingtao is a much nicer 
place than I remembered, - and the breeze is so cool! I wish you have been with 
me yesterday morning along the sea-shore: a bright rain-bow circling exactly the 
beach eastward, and westward, closing the deep-blue bay, a dark storm-cloud 
hanging over a rugged granitic range. The whole landscape was an overhelming 
beauty. And I thought of you, of course. Tliat was approximately the time when I 
cross the marble-bridge, reintegrating the Peitang. 

We have immediately started the work, — and we face a much more com- 
plicated problem than I thought. A very attractive solution of the geological con- 

TEILHAKD ditions found here has been recently published by two men ofJ.S. Lee; and my 

&LUCILE jfe a was f acce pt and develop it eastwards. But now, my impression (and that 

of Yang Kieh) is that the two Nanking's geologists have made a serious mistake, 

gQ so that the matter has to be taken over, afresh. 1 do not like it, — but that is inter' 
esting, too. Since enormous masses of granite and porphyries are involved in the 
problem, it is worth reaching a definite solution. — Tomorrow we are going by 
car to the Laoshan. — Nothing yet very clear, concerning our progresses east- 
wards. 1 suspect that we shall decide for a few number of stations along the 
coast, with branch-trips around these places. — I will write you before we leave, 
and give you our definite plan 

In the meantimes, I hope that you are busy, quiet, and happy. — After all, 
we have been so much together during the past months that we need perhaps 
those days for assimilating the treasures accumulated by the physical presence. 
So far the spiritual presence is concerned (and this is something essentially phys- 
ical, too!), you know that 1 never get out of it, because you have become a 

part of my deepest own life. 

Yours ever, dearest 


I am afraid I am developping an "anti-Chinese-food-complex"!. Still, I am not 

Tsingtao, July 19th, 1936 

Lucile dear, 

Finally, due partly to the fact that today is Sunday (Banks closed, etc.), 
we cannot leave Tsingtao but tomorrow. This is a much longer stop than I was 
planning. But, as I told you in my last letter, we found here, geologically speak- 
ing, conditions which we did not expect; — and we could not move eastwards 
without a safe base. Now, 1 believe that we are on the right track. — For material 
reasons (impossibility to follow the cliffs but by foot) . I am obliged to alter 
somewhat my plans. We shall use mainly moto-cars road, following roughly the 
coast, — and we will stop in a few selected places: 3 or 4 before Weihawei. — Evi- 
dently, I was more than ambitious when 1 hoped to cover the area in two weeks. 
But I don't think that we shall travel, on the whole, much more than three weeks. 
Things may go faster and faster, for our survey and we are limited by the money. 
Anyhow, I am sorry not to have given you the name of our Tsingtao hotel, in my 
last letter: your answer would have caught me here. 

1 am still impressed by the nice side of Tsingtao. But for enjoying them 
fully, — I miss some "white people" society, — or some old friend as Bien. Y.K. is 
a charming man (just a bit rough) and a wonderful worker but that is all. I did 
not expect of him anything more, of course, — at least for a first trip. — Our most 
interesting and picturesque day was spent along the sea, at the very foot of the 
Laoshan, near a beautiful Taoist temple, surrounded by forests, - precisely at the 
contact between the Laoshan impressive granite and a formation which I was 
anxious to visit since 19261 (when I saw it from the boat at my first return in 
China). The site can be approached by car. But they are four or five miles to walk, 

along a new track, including several hundred of steep steps, up and down. I still THEIR 
feel my legs somewhat broken. But the scenery is perfect: the temple, hidden 1932 ~ 41 
behind a thick screen of bamboos, is sheltered by beautiful gingko-trees. In the 
court-yard were thefragant white flowers which you brought back, some day, gj 
from the Drummond's. I did not need that for having you present, — to my enjoy- 
ment, and to my work. — The weather keeps bright and cool, — with some fog. 
The next days, far from the seashore, we shall regret it. — 

Nothing new, besides. — On the whole, I feel satisfied to have decided 
this trip in Shantung. — In a few days, we have already succeeded in making 
good observations. And, in addition, 1 need (you know it) to keep directly in 
touch with "mother Earth". Yet, I shall be happy to see Peiping again. 

I hope that everything is for the best with you, dearest, and that the 

camel is in full progress. 

Yours deeply 


I will write you again after a few days. 

Haiyang, July 25th, 1936 

Lucile dear, 

We are progressing, - but slowly - because, in Shantung as elsewhere in 
China, motocars in summer are "un mythe". There is always some "hsia-yii"* 
breaking the trafic. As a consequence of which, we are obliged to force our way by 
the old Chinese types of transportation, under the habitual and uncomfortable 
feeling to be stopped and trapped somewhere by the conditions of the roads. — 
Still, we are progressing. I write you (when is this letter going to reach you?) from 
a most picturesque city, about half-way between Tsingtao and the eastern end of 
the Shantung: something like Aigues-Mortes in S. Prance. Haiyang is an half- 
dead, but typical, Chinese city, built on a small promontory, amongst the swamp, 
near the sea; a square tower, with nice strong walls, without any suburbs, geo- 
metrically planned. One temple, north of the town, on the slopes of the moun- 
tains; another one, south, on the sea-shore. The whole just so regular as a 
diminutive Peking. — I nearly thought that we should never reach the place, two 
days ago, when, half-way from the precedent town, we found, at 7 p.m., a flooded 
swampy river. We had to spend the night in one of the most awful inns (smell, 
mosquitos,food) I have ever met. Finally, the next morning, we crossed (ourselves 
and our pekinese cart) the flood in a small boat. And it was all right, because we 
found on the other side, the very geological features we were searching for. — Yes- 
terday, rain again. We decide to make the next stage in three days by mule 
(instead of the supposed 5 hours with motocar). The good side of this handicap is 
that we can do a much better work. Yes, — but my fortnight absence might well 
turn to be a month's trip. — Anyhow, I think that I am not loosing my time, — 

'Literally translated "hsia-yii" means "falling" water. The term was used to identify the 
heavy rainfall that often made the roads impassable. 

TEILHARD chiefly if the Japanese geologists have not too much "deflore" the problems here, 
& LUCILE _ a f ac t wn { c h i muS f ascertain on my way back. What I see interests me vlentv. 

CORRESPOND , .„ . • _* »l • / / ** L *• ^7ZT 

and will have an important bearing of my famous map of the eruptives m China 

52 (you know; the map "with the spots"). - As for the pleasures of the trip, there is 

naturally absolutely no trace of comfort, — but the country is extremely nice: a 

background of barren, rugged, serrated ranges, — and, in the plains, a rich country 

covered with beautiful crop (millet, kaolian, etc.). The villages are clean, well 

built, and surrounded by large trees, much bigger, and much more diverse than in 

the Hopei: chestnut-leaved oak, sophora, pine-trees, etc. Thousands of noisy 

cycads {locusts]. Beautiful fruits also (chiefly peaches) but invariable sold green. 

As Yang-Kieh observed, Chinese enjoy fruits when they break under the teeth as 

carots. Lot of Chinese melons and other types of "gwa": I can not see the fields 

without thinking of the "monastery" in your garden. 

And thafs all for today. — / hope that my next letter will be very soon, 
and not too far from Weihawei so that I can tell you "a bientot", dearest. 

Be happy. 


[Telegram] Hankow 17.9.1936 
Arriving Tuesday evening seven. Teilhard 

Peking, September 24 - 36 

Lucile, dear, 

At this very time (6 p.m.) when you are probably moving towards a glori- 
ous sunset, in the middle of the Hankow plain, I write you from the table of 
Jacques, where I have searched for a shelter when leaving the P.UM.C. - (I have a 
dinner with thefrench attache de Yair, at 8.30). On my right, a picture of AM. 
Wang. On my left, a fragrant bunch of flowers. In my soul, your presence, dearest, 
- so vivid in spite of the miles between us. -May you be happy during this jour- 
ney, Lucile, and fill your eyes, your mind, your heart, with visible and invisible 
light! - 

Sept 25 

I could not finish this letter yesterday evening. - Now I am in my room of 
the Petang: a fine cool morning. Camels, with a nice fresh hair are passing in the 
courtyard, carrying coal or something else; 630 a.m. You are probably still asleep 
in your cabin, somewhere along the complicated loops of the Yangzte . . . -Today, 
at last, I am leaving for Tientsin. Finally Dr. Wong did not, come to Peking (the 
"quorum" of the PUMC trustees being reached without him) so that I might have 
left since Monday. Yet, I do not regret this "retard" which allowed me to finish 
my paper on the Chinese fossil lakes and to advance my maps-business. But now 
I am glad to go to the Hautes-Etudes (in spite of the fascinating golden light on 
the pearl-coloured water and the yellowish lotus leaves of the Peihai), - because I 
want (and I need) to make this retreat, - and because Peking looks so empty with- 
out you. - Since Monday, I felt perfectly lost, at 5 p.m. The first evening, I went to 

see Grabau, who did not seem too astonished to see me two days consecutively. THEIR 

The second evening (I had a 830 dinner in the Grand Hotel), 1 did not discover 1932 ' 41 

any other escape than the house of Apostolic Delegue, Mgr. Zanin. And then a 

funny thing happened. I was in the room, not of Mgr. Zanin of course, but of his 53 
secretary, Monsignor Commisso (a good friend of mine, since years), - smoking, 
and chatting about Church, Europe, etc., - when, at the end of the talk, Commisso 
asked me whether I could not write for him a confidential report which he would 
send privately to some high officials, "at the heart of Rome". - Well, I was star- 
tled by the idea, - and I think 1 will write the thing, - very shortly, and with the 
appropriate tune, - but very frankly. My idea is to choose, as a title, "Reflexions 
sur la Conversion du Monde" (because the pages should be sent first to the "Com- 
mission de la Propagande"), - and then to expose why (and how) we need to pro- 
pose a new side of the "old" God, and a new type of worship (based on adventure 
and discovery). - The substance would be the same as in "Christ & Evolution", 
but with a slightly subdued expression (and yet perhaps a clearer and more direct 
focusing of the question). 1 hope to show you this "expose" when you come back, 
-as a new result of our "spiritual union". - 

Nothing new, besides. 1 have met Mayo yesterday in a Bardac's lunch: he 
seems busy with a new theatrical production, and was very gay and hungry. - 
Wednesday, I had a pleasant Chinese dinner with Grabau and a bunch of Chinese 
(= the geological department of the Peita University) in a restaurant of the West- 
City. Exquisite Szechuanese food, I must confess; lot of Kampei ["bottoms up" 
toasts} and an extremely hearty atmosphere. Grabau was at his best. 1 have the 
impression that he prefers the Chinese to the foreigners, just now. - The social 
event of today is a stag-party given by thefrench Ambassador, - in honour of the 
French admiral (another determined bachelor): ten males pickniking in the Mings 
Tombs. Jack, who is one of the guests, was amused, but also perfectly amazed by 
this conception of a pleasure-party. 

Now, I must pack. - My next letter will be in ten days; - but you know 
that these days will be full of you. 1 know that the more 1 will love God, the more 
I will love you. 


Peking, October 6th, 1936 

Lucile dear, 

I thank you so much for your two letters, - from Hankow and from 
Chungking. I found the 2nd one half an hour ago, when collecting my mail in the 
Survey. (I have come back today, 12 ox., from Tientsin). 1 am so happy that you 
have enjoyed your trip, and that there is sun shining in your soul! - 1 hope you 
will find in Hankow my first letter, sent from Peking the day I left. - From Tien- 
tsin 1 found uneasy to send you a word by airmail to Chungking. But you know 
that I was with you. - Presumably, 1 had a good time (or at least, 1 hope, an use- 
ful time) in Tientsin. I believe to see more clearly the meaning and the line of life 
in front of me. And, I too 1 realize how really you have become a part and a 
strength of myself. - Do you not feel that the next talks and meeting, will be even 
more rich and sweet than before? - To grow in and by love ... - 1 have finished the 

TERHARD redaction of the paper 1 told you in my last letter (for Rome? . . .). Nothing new, - 
&LUCILE faf m0fe organized, concentrate and focused, I hope. -Very short, evidently. You 
will have a copy, of course. 
54 I stop here. Trassaert is waiting for me, - and the first hours in Peiping 

are always somewhat hectic. - 

Yours more than ever, dearest 


Dec. 24, 1936 


Naturellement, I forgot to give you, yesterday morning, the name of the 
French gentleman to whom you could send a copy of both "How I believe", "The 
spirit of the Earth". 

Prof, le Bras Grand Hotel de Peking. 

Thank you again so deeply for what you give me so richly. God help us to 
conquer the fire! - 



[Tientsin] December 30, 1936 


Just a few lines, - with my best wishes of happy new year! - May 1937 (I 
am sure, it will do . . .)find us closer together, & higher!- 

I have received with a great joy your letter of Sunday. So many things to 
talk about, next Saturday! — Here, I got no letter so far, except a long one from 
my brother in Paris, — rather bitter for the internal situation in France. — No 
news from the Review to which I sent my last paper. Is that a good sign? or not?. . 

Here I have a quiet time, — working most of the time with Trassaert a 
puzzling group of Antelopes (with straight, curved, twisted, spiraled, round, oval, 
or triangular horns), by which Nature seems to have enjoyed the game of perplex- 
ing paleontologists. 

I still plan to leave Tientsin Saturday morning. I will come to Ta Tien 
Shui Ching at about 3.30. 

Yours, so much 


Peiping Jan. 25, 1937 

Dear Friend, - 

Whether it should have a sequence or not, it seems to me that our conver- 
sation of the other day has brought us to a point where for my interest as well as 
yours, I owe an explanation. I sensed (and besides you said) that both my interior 
and my exterior situation seems to you illogical, - or even to use the word, not 
frank. I will attempt in these few lines to make you understand, in all sincerity, 
my position, in its strength and in its weakness. 

1) Above all, have no doubt, that I do all I can to be loyally a "priest" in THEIR 
the full meaning of the word. I say my mass and I follow to the best of my ability 1932 ' 41 
the rules of my Order. In the interior of which I am considered as a "good 
religieux" and even perhaps a bit more. And I hope that what follows will help 55 
you to see that I conform to its frame (though many of its elements seem to me of 

a very contestable value) for reasons which prevent my acts from being a pre- 

2) From what does the appearance of being a bit complex in my attitude 
come? The origin I find (if I analyse myself well) is the co-existance in me of two 
"passions" neither of which I can sacrifice, and which therefore I must attempt to 

The first of these two passions is a fundamental belief in the grandeur 
and the value of the World (understood as the totality of the real energies which 
surround us). I am first and essentially a "born-pantheist!'. And all the develope- 
ment of my scientific carreer has been animated by this initial sentiment, which 
all my studies have reciprocally systamitised, rationalised and nourished. 

Therefore I love the World passionately, as a "pagen" say those narrow 
ones who have never understood the profound mystic of the Universe. But (and 
here is where the difficulty starts) I love equally passionately the God who 
expresses Himself in the Christian Christ. Originally, no doubt, this second love 
was less natural than the first; it was largely implanted in me by the influence of 
my education. Never the less I think it awakened in me another prof ound native 
disposition. Left to itself my initial pantheism would have without doubt, 
evolved in the direction of some vague "immanentism". Initiated by Christianity 
to an incomparable taste for "adoration of a Person", I quickly realized that the 
Universe to which I had always been devoted would remain structurally 
uncrowned unless it was possible for me to discover a sort of heart and face for it 
which I could love. 

It would be too long and useless, to detail for you the interior steps 
which lead me to a synthesis which was working in me between the two passions 
of the Universe and the Person. The only interesting point for the end which I pro- 
pose here is the following: I find myself at the present time in an equal impossi- 
bility (vital) to pass either the Universe (conceived as an organic All in 
evolution), or Christ (who appears to me, in the experimental domain, the only 
existing center and the only positive sign of a "universal Person"). If I do not 
believe in the World, I can no longer believe in Christ: and if I do not believe in 
Christ I can no longer love the World. All my interior equilibrium is therefore tied 
to a possible conduction of these two supreme realities in a unique Reality, seiz- 
able in the same and unique act of adoration. 

The problem of this synthesis between Christ and the Universe has natu- 
rally two faces: a theoretical face (or "theologie"), and a practical face (or 

The theological solution has seemed to me relatively easy. Taken in its 
most authentic definitions (particularly in St. Paul) Christ is endowed with a 
mass of properties which, transported into the Universe such as we know it 
today , inevitably take on "cosmic" dimensions. If the "theologians" as a whole 

TEILHARD still refuse to see it at this time, it is simply because they do not yet realize what 

& LUCILE f ne experimental World has become for us. 

The moral solution is more delicate, because it tends to express itself 

66 externally in attitudes which run against an equilibrium (a routine) of a social 
order. I have analized at length in several essays, the transformations which the 
idea of Christian "saintliness" undergoes when Christ is envisaged, no longer as 
a Restorer of a damaged World, but as the Animator of a Universe in progress. 
These transformations are profound. But one thing seems to me sure: if they gen- 
eralize the evangelical moral code, and make it dynamic, they do not deform it. 
After the transformation the love of God above all, expresses itself in a continual 
effort of universal "going beyond", it lives and and affirms itself always as a law 
ofperfecton. And is that not the very essence of the Gospel? 

It remains (to the near reserves, - and they are important, -which I will 
make further on) that the religious transformations of which I have just spoken 
are still only at their beginnings. They still effect but a minority. Those who are 
conscious of them find themselves therefore, in the situation of having to live 
what 1 call by convention their "hyper-Christianity" in the social forms (still 
dominant) of the "ancient-Christianity", -and without having the right nor the 
power to break with them, in which their roots still are deeply immersed. In this 
duality lies exactly the reason which could give you the impression of an equivo- 
cal attitude in me. But I believe that this duality has nothing of a "duplicity". If I 
continue to give way to many gests and formulas which are empty for me, it is 
not by simple formality, approaching hypocracy: but it is because I believe pas- 
sionately of sensing the circulation of a sap under the old dead shell, of which I 
have an essential need, and which 1 cannot yet attain without my holding to the 
entire tree. After all my situation is no different from all the men who have new 
ideas on the value and the future of the social body to which they belong (nation, 
army etc.). 

And now two questions to finish: How much of the Hyper-Christianity of 
which I speak is special to me? and in what degree can it flatter itself to be the 
true Christianity? 

My reply to the first question is the following: No, the new Christianity 
which I defend is not personal to me, and it is just this that gives it value. I am 
conscious in the matter of being only a voice expressing that which rises like a 
cloud around us. In France, Belgium, America and England I can give you a list of 
names (religious, and laymen, philosophers and even teaching theologians) which 
are those of men thinking in exactly the same direction as myself and who have 
the conviction in doing so of not diminishing but of emphasizing their Christian- 
ity (exactly because their effort goes to magnify the reality of Christ which is nec- 
essarily the very essence of Christianity). These men have never ceased to 
encourage me. They have read everything that I have written. Why, you may ask, 
then continue to work below board and not in the open. Simply once again, 
because the proportion of men who see is still too small, and have not yet pene- 
trated far enough ahead (as it yet does) in the governing spheres to be able to 
impose ifself. And also because a premature "decortication" could do dangerous 

harm to the organization it attempts to enlarge and save. THEIR 

But then, and this is the second question, supposing that the future IFTTFR<i 
proves us right we the "innovators", and that in place of the Gospel of "Separa- 
tion and resignation" we see a Gospel of immersion in the World and of "subli- 67 
motion" succeed, - how will we be able to still say that Christianity has not been 
suppressed and replaced by a new religion? We can say it for the good reason 
that, under a grander and more liberated form, it will be the same current of liv- 
ing love for the same living reality (the Christ) which will continue over us. How, 
some years hence, can we say we are the same selves, each of us, if not by the con- 
tinuance of a current of consciousness? The same for the Church. The change is no 
doubt no greater between the Christ Universal (of which I dream) with many oth- 
ers) and the "Christ-King ,, (proposed for adoration to the faithful by the official 
church) than between this Christ-King and the Man encountered by the fishermen 
of Galilee. And besides, in reality, of what importance is this largely theoretical 
question from the connections with the Past? The reality of God without which 
human effort (lacking a common ideal) would fall to dust must be found every 
moment for us in the direction of the most achieved image which humanity has 
been able to make of the Divinity: The most true Christ can only be objectively 
the one who appears to us subjectively as the most perfect and the greatest Sav- 
iour. It is in this sense that I believe to be still sincerely a christian. 

I hope that these pages, necessarily brief, do not appear to you too inco- 
herent. In any case believe in my profound sympathy. And be assured that you 
have in no way hurt me by your frankness. I doubt that you could say to me any- 
thing of religious matters more hard than those that I have expressed a hundred 
times to myself. 



Lucile tried to accomodate herself to what she found unreal in this real situation, and she 
read and re-read his January "position" statement. She continued also to translate and type 
his papers; and she joined him in his search for God. 

In February of 1937 Teilhard left China for the United States. There, together with 
old friends, he attended a scientific conference in Philadelphia. Later (in April) he went to 
Paris. — In June he left his Jesuit confreres and journeyed south to visit with his brother 
Joseph in Auvergne. He left France and returned to China by boat in September. 

Nanking, 24 Febr, 1937 


I have open and read your precious letter yesterday, when passing before 
the Taishan. I had kept it so long, unopen, so that I might be more quiet, better 
prepared for your message. And surely, Lucile, this was a precious part of yourself 
that you have enclosed in those pages, - the deepest expression of what we have 
been gradually improving and building in and with both ourselves in the course 





of a long and happy year. - Yes, dearest, I will, during these six months, bring with 
me your impulsion, your light, and the consciousness of what you have tried so 
much to impress on me: that whatever of truth I believe to see should not be 
wasted, nor kept in some unduly shadow, but used at the utmost for freeing the 
"spirit of the world". - Really your work, Lucile, as well as mine. - 

In the meantimes, I hope that we shall not miss each other in a depress- 
ing way, - but that the unavoidable feeling of physical absence will be ultra-com- 
pensated by the thought that this very absence will work into making us more 
deeply present to each other. You and I, during this spring, we shall expand the 
surface on which we construct, and by which we can join. - You and I, hand in 
hand, facing some rising sun, - your last sculpture, Lucile. - Might this feeling 
make richer for you the coming blossoms of the Central Park and of the Western 
Hills. No regrets, and no retreat . . . I like so much the picture you have sent me. 
But Goring ought to have pictured us as Peter and Delia, over the top of a rock, 
with the light on our face. 

N'est-ce pas? 

Je quitte Nanking dans deux heures. 
Bon voyage jusqu'ici. J'ai eu le temps de 
penser a bien des choses: a la "lecture" de 
Philadelphie (j'ai trouve mon sujet), - et 
aussi au "Phenomene spirituel". Je suis 
decide a ridiger quelque chose la-dessus 
en met II me semble queje vois bien clair, 
maintenant. J'ai cause assez longuement 
avec Bob Lynn, qui m'a dit bien des cho- 
ses sur ses recherches: quel mystere que 
I' organisation d'un systeme nerveux 
humain: vraiment on touche la la "struc- 
ture de VEsprit". - Bob s'est charge de 
transporter lui-meme a lltotel de Shang- 
hai ma caisse enfer, - de sorte que Yerreur 
de Viang a tourne au mieux. 

Id, gris et un peu de neige. J'ai vu ce 
matin Dr. Wong, si surcharge et toujours 
si souriant et si desinteresse. Nous avons 
longuement cause. J'ai bien fait de m'ar- 
reter ici pour le voir. 

Demain, je vous enverrai quelques 
lignes au moins de Shanghai. La journee 
sera sans doute chargee. - Maintenant 
que j'ai quitte Peking, j'ai hdte d'etre 
tout a fait parti: je me sentirai plus pres 

Don't you think? 

I am leaving Nanking in two hours. 
Good trip so far. I have had time to think 
of many things: the "lecture" in Philadel- 
phia (I have found my subject), - and also 
"The Phenomenon of Spirituality". I have 
decided to write something about this 
while at sea. I feel that I see quite clearly 
now. I spoke at length with Bob Lynn 
who told me many things about his 
research: what a mystery the structure of 
the human neural system is: really one 
gets there into contact with "the Structure 
of the Spirit". - Bob undertook the trans- 
portation of my iron box to the Shanghai 
Hotel, thus Wang's mistake turned out 
for the best. 

Here the sky is grey and we have a lit- 
tle snow. I saw Dr. Wong this morning, so 
overworked and always so smiling and 
so unselfish. We talked for a long time. I 
was right to stop here to see him. 

To-morrow I shall send you a few lines 
at least from Shanghai. The day will 
probably be very busy. Now that I have 
left Peking, I am eager to be completely 
gone: I shall feel nearer to coming back. 

de revenir. 

In your letter, Lucile, the most wonderful thing you tell me is that I may 
help you to be closer to God and to all that is good. Now be sure that you do the 
same for me, - and that is the everlasting reason for which so much I love you. 


Shanghai, Febr. 25. 1937 


I am leaving the Hotel for the boat Everything ready. Just these few lines 
for repeating my last letter, from Nanking: that I am leaving under your star, -for 
the best! 

Very busy day. I have seen my colleague Leroy (with great pleasure), - and 
Mrs. Walen (a very complex case . . .,but still hopeful), - and Camille (no more 
blond but brown, - and so full of life): she is ashamed not to have written you: 
address lost. -Breuil is in Japan: so I could not see him. 

Adieu, Lucile, ou plutot a bientdt. I believe in you. 


RM.S. Empress of Japan, Febr. 27, 1937 

Lucile dear, 

We are due tomorrow to Kobe. - Just a few lignes, to bring you the deepest 
of my thought, - and to tell you that everything is all right. - 

Le temps est gris, et assez mauvais. The sky is grey and the weather is 
Mais le bateau est si grand qu'on ne se pretty bad. But the ship is so big that we 





doute pas des vagues. Je suis seul dans 
une cabine trte convenable (je crains qu'il 
ne monte pas beaucoup de monde a Yoko- 
hama!). Compagnons de route "ordi- 
naires". Plusieurs missionnaires americ- 
ains, - gentils. Je commence a les initier a 
mon Christianisme, qui les surprend un 
peu, - mais les attire plutot, - sans trop 
les effrayer. llfaut dire que j'y vais pru- 

Apres vous avoir ecrit, de Shanghai, 
j'ai ete diner avec Mrs. Walen au Cathay. 
Conversation Ms Smouvante, qui a vite 
deborde la question 2. - Cette derniere est 
du teste bien compliquee. In many ways, 
she is bigger than he, - and cannot admitt 
to be absorbed by him. Hope he will un- 
derstand. - Par ailleurs, I'amie de Mrs. 
Walen, Mrs. Ames, est a bord (en 1* classe 
Svidemment). J'ai aussi eu une conversa- 
tion avec elle, - et me suis apercu qu'elle 
est trks suphieure a ce queje pensais. Que 
de magnifiques energies spirituelles qui 
cherchent leur vote, et un Ob jet! . . . 

I have started "Le Phenomene Spirituel". Good or not good, I will try to 
finish it. Other ideas are already coming to take the place. I will explain that to 
you from Honolulu. Be happy, dearest, - as you make me full and happy. 

don't even know there are waves. I am 
alone in a quite suitable cabin (I am 
afraid that lots of people will come 
aboard at Yokohama!). My travelling 
companions are "ordinary". Several 
American missionnaries, - nice people. I 
have started introducing them to my 
Christianity, which surprises them a little, 
- but rather attracts them, - without scar- 
ing them too much. I must say I am mov- 
ing prudently. 

After writing to you from Shanghai, I 
had dinner with Mrs. Walen at the 
Cathay. A very moving conversation 
which quickly went beyond the question 
2. - The latter is really quite complicated. 
By the way, Mrs. Walen's friend, Mrs. 
Ames, also is on board (first class of 
course). I also had a conversation with 
her, - and realized that she is very supe- 
rior to what I thought. How many mag- 
nificent spiritual energies are searching 
for their way, and an Object! . . . 

TEILHARD Yokohama, RM.S. Empress of Japan. 

?J^£ March *' m7 



Nous arrivons ce matin a Yoko- We are arriving in the morning in 

hama. Hier, a Kobe, il faisait beau et Yokohama. Yesterday in Kobe the 

bleu. Ce matin, nous nous sommes weather was fine and the sky blue. This 

reveilles dans le gris et le vent. Mais morning we woke up in dullness and 

qu'importe le temps sur les grands wind. But what does the weather mat- 

. , ter on these big ships? 

navtres? ° r 

What I wish and want to tell you this morning, Lucile, is that, when our 
ship will leave Asia, this night, the best of my soul will go to you, - westwards, - 
or rather eastwards, in the direction where the sun rises, and where the water and 
the rail bring me slowly back to Peiping. - / shall be richer for you, at that time, 
Lucile; - and you for me; - and that time will be very soon ours. - 

Nor much to tell you since yesterday. In Kobe, 1 went a short time ashore, 
just for a walk, - and also for meeting, in the Mission, a colleague of mine (the 
brother of one of my best friends, Auguste Valensin) who is touring the Far-East 
for "spiritual" purposes. This rather "important" man was extremely kind with 
me, but 1 realized that we were, each for the other, in the depth of our souls, per- 
fect strangers (and that he did not see it!). Without understanding, he believes 
that he understands,- and that is worse than everything. 

Hier au soir j'ai recu un radio tres Last night I received a very kind 
aimable de Mrs. Grew, m'invitant a radio message from Mrs. Grew inviting 
venir a un lunch a Tokyo: je vais y aller me to lunch in Tokyo: I will go if the 
si Vauto promise m' attend au quai (et promised car is waiting for me on the 
si nous n' arrivons pas trop tard a quay (and if we don't arrive too late in 

•, , , v f * . i Yokohama). I will tell you about it. I 

Yokohama). ]e vous raconterat cela. . _.„ ' ,/.„,, 

_, ' _ . . hope Bill Drummond also will be there 

Jespere que Btll Drummond ausst sera . \ , ¥ , ., . , .„ . . 

' „, , , , today, - and I know that he will bring a 

la, aujourd'hut, - et je sais qu il m'ap- [e[ier frQm you 

portera une lettre de vous . . . 

Entre temps, I am struggling on the "Phenomene Spirituel": something is 

coming slowly out. - The features of the child will probably be recognizable in 

Honolulu. • 

So much yours, Lucile 


R.M.S. Empress of Japan. 
March 5 (Meridian day) 1937 

A few minutes ago, I was on the deck, looking at the sun sinking in the 
direction of Peking; and I felt so deeply that my life is there, that I wished the 
boat could turn backward, - to west. And yet, which other way might bring me 
closer to you, Lucile, than the road forward . . . The more I think it over, dearest, 
the clearer I see that I need to go through what is awaiting me in America and 
Europe for being more yours, and more what you like and search in me. - 

It was a joy for me to receive your letter in Yokohama, - and to hear from 

you about everything in your life: about the symbolic couple in your studio, THEIR 
about your last party, - about Tarnowsky (!), - about your prospects going to the 1932 ~ il 
Hills. And above all, Lucile, I feel so happy each time you tell me that I can help 
you to be yourself, - more gloriously. ji 

My last letter was posted the day before we came in Yokohama. A few 
minutes later I received a radio from Mrs. Grew, asking me to spend the following 
day at the Embassy in Tokyo. A car was waiting for me at the boat, and brought 
me back at 10 p.m. The weather was grey and rainy. But I had a very interesting 
afternoon, - and "interesting" is a very poor word, in the case. After a short drive 
in Tokyo, we went back to the quiet salon of the Embassy, - and there, for my 
great surprise, Mrs. Grew opened me a part of her soul, - such a beautiful soul: she 
seems to read or to hear directly what I am striving to reach by the dark paths of 
Matter. It is a great experience to meet, from time to time, a child of heaven! - 
After that, we had a charming dinner at four: Mr.& Mrs. Grew, myself, and the 
young Dane with whom we discussed politics a few weeks ago, at the Lyon's. - 
By the way, I found Mrs Grew still much disturbed by the news that the little girl, 
in Peiping, had the scarlet fever. Hope that she is completely well, now. - 

When I came back to the Empress, in Yokohama, I found the boat occu- 
pied by a large new crowd, including a group of French and Canadian congressists 
of Manilla. The first impression was rather depressing. But after all, I was left 
alone in my cabin, - and gradually I discovered in the pious group a reasonable 
number of really pleasant people. - But Bill Drummond was the real relief He is 
located downstairs "next to the right propeller", but we meet frequently, and had 
with the Captain and a number of important wealthy people, (including the 
Ranee of Sarawak, in Borneo) a regular series of evening cocktails. Bill, on the 
whole, has a grand time, - chiefly since he has discovered on board a very cute lit- 
tie girl whom you have probably seen at the Merrell's the day I left Peking. - He 
and I we have also seen many times Mrs. Ames, who is decidedly a most interest- 
ing type of woman. I regret that she did not meet you in Peking, rather than other 
people who could not understand and help her. She asks for "our books", which 
she has seen in the hands of Mrs. Walen. -Would you send her both of them: 

Mrs. Robert Ames 

do L. A. Greene 

5504 Hollywood Blvd Hollywood (Cal.) 

She leaves tomorrow in Honolulu. - On board I met also a certain Mr. 
Penrose, who is the brother of the famous Penrose who recently made the geolog- 
ical Soc. of America the wealthiest scientific society of the world. And also an 
english lady who is a friend of Mrs. Garrod. Etc. - World is very small. 

In the meantime, I have advanced the "Phenomene spirituel", of which I 
am writing the Part III (Moralisation). Sincerely, I don't know whether the essay 
is as good and clear as he could be. Anyhow, I had to write it down before I could 
see something ahead. At the least, these new pages are a good preliminary study 
for a further work. - I plan to write, next, something on the experimental evi- 
dences we have of an actual progress, movement of the human mind, now: "Le 
vent d 'esprit"... 

Excuse this letter and its handwriting. - ]e vous I'ai ecrite par morceaux, 

TEHHARD sur un coin de table dans ma cabine. Tomorrow you will be for me the light and 

& LUCILE the balance of Honolulu. 

Yours P.T. 

Please give a cake from my part to Spotty (and, if he likes it, to Dungshi). I sup- 
pose I will still discover some of its hair on my clothes in Paris . . . 

R.M.S. Empress of Japan, March 12, 1937 


Tomorrow morning we arrive in Victoria, [British Columbia], - and I will 
have, with Bill, to fight my way to Seattle in time for taking the night train to 
Chicago. This is the end of the calmest part of the journey to Europe. Yet I will be 
happy, I think, to meet the circle of congenial friends gathered in Philadelphia. 
Anyhow, before leaving the Empress (which will sail back to China in four or five 
days) I want to tell you once more how, during this important time in America, 
your presence will be with me as a light and a strength, - your presence, precious 
Lucile. - J will do my best for visiting your family in Chicago. And, in any case, I 
will write you soon after my arrival in Philadelphia. 

So generally, the few hours spent in Honolulu have been most charming. I 
went round a part of the island with Bill, and we had together a very amusing 
farewell-lunch at the Moana Hotel with Mrs. Ames and another Canadian friend 
of the boat. The next days have been rainy and rough, - but this morning the sea is 
smooth and the sun shining. Very convenient for packing. - In the meantime I 
have written the 30th and the last page of my Essay, which I will send you when 
typed (in France, I suppose). I don't think it is perfect, - but this is at least a good 
advanced sketch for further developments. And I feel more free now for opening 
my mind to new ideas and new impressions. 

As generally, also, I have discovered at the last minute interesting people 
on the boat. One is a certain Lady Hozy (daughter of a British General Consul in 
China), a highly scholar type of old lady, which knows well Dr. Wong, Hu-shih, 
etc., and was a friend of VK. Ting. Another one is a certain Mr. McKenzie, in 
charge of Education, etc. in the Cook Islands: he has fascinating talks on the 
beliefs and the traditions of the Polynesian peoples, - how, by jumps, they 
spanned the great Blue from Java to Hawaii and New Zealand. - Sorry not to 
have spotted this man earlier. - World is surely full of marvelous things: what a 
subject for a collection of books it would be to describe the successive "con- 
quests" of the world by Man, in the course of ages. I wonder that no editor seems 
to have got or realized this idea. 

Now I have to pack my things, and to fill the applications for the Cus- 
toms. How difficult it has become to enter any country in the world. It would 
seem that you have to fight at each frontier! . . 

God bless you, dearest 


Void plus d'une semaine que je suis 
en Amerique, - et je ne vous at pas 
encore icrit. Ne m'en veuillez pas: Des 
mon arrivie & Philadelphie, j'ai etepris 
dans un tel tourbillon que je viens 
seulement, il y aun instant, de lire les 
dernieres des lettres que j'ai trouvees en 
arrivantl - Mais vous savez que votre 
pensee m'a suivi, parmi tout cela. Et 
j'ai Ste si content quand lejeune White, 
rencontre au symposium m'a dome une 
photo (prise a Liou-hi-ho, avec les 
Stephenson), ou tous les deux, nous 
sommes Ms bien: je vous I'enverrai 
quand j'aurai le courage de m'en 

Void maintenant un resume des 
evenements depuis ma dernihe lettre 
de I'Empress of Japan. - L'arrivee a 
Seattle a ete laborieuse, parce que nous 
etions trop nombreux: la journee s'est 
passee if aire la queue, pour les passe- 
ports, pour la douane, d'abord a Victo- 
ria puis a Seattle (dans I'intervalle, il 
m'afallu rediger un telegramme de 300 
mots pour I'Assodated Press). Finale- 
ment, j'ai manque mon train a Seattle, 
ce qui m'a obligi A rester un jour la- 
bas, en compagnie de Bill; journee tres 
amusante du reste grdce aux Griffith's 
qui nous ont regus d'une maniere char- 
mante dans lew jolie maison sur le 
Washington Lake. Nous avons tout 
juste echappe aux cocktails pour ne pas 
manquer notre train une fois de plus. 
Mais, de V affaire je me trouvais si en 
retard pour le Symposium que je n'ai 
passe qu'une heure et demie h Chicago; 
impossible d'aller voir votre pfre et 
votre mire, ni Mrs. Wood. J'espere que 
Bill Vaurafait. 

Je suis done tombe en plein congres: 
reporters, flashes, etc. C'itait plutot 
ahurissant. Enfin je crois que ma corn- 

Washington, March 25, 1937 

I have been in America for more 
than a week now and I haven't written 
to you yet. Don't be cross with me: 
When I arrived in Philadelphia I was 
immediately caught in such a whirl- 
wind that I only just read the last of the 
letters I found on my arrival here! - But 
you know that your thought followed 
me all the time. I was so happy when 
young White, whom I met at the sym- 
posium, gave me a photo (taken in 
Liou-li-ho with the Stephensons) in 
which we both look so nice: I will send 
it to you when I have the courage to 
part with it. 

Now I will give you a summary of 
what happened since my last letter 
written on the Empress of Japan. - The 
arrival in Seattle was strenuous 
because there were so many people: the 
day was spent in line - for the passports 
and customs first in Victoria, then in 
Seattle (in the meantime I had to write 
a 300 word telegram for Associated 
Press). Finally, I missed my train to 
Seattle and I had to spend one day 
there in the company of Bill; a very 
pleasant day thanks to the Griffiths 
who welcomed us most charmingly in 
their pretty house on Washington lake. 
We just escaped the cocktail party, oth- 
erwise we would have missed the train 
once more. But, because of all the rush, 
I was so late for the symposium that I 
only spent one hour and a half in Chi- 
cago, and there was no time left to visit 
your father and mother, nor Mrs. 
Wood. I hope Bill will have seen them. 

So I arrived in the middle of the con- 
vention: reporters, flashes, etc. It was 
rather astounding. However, I think 





TEHHARD munication a interesse: je Vai faite people found my presentation interest- 
s' LUCILE oralement, sans texte ecrit, et c'est ing; I did it orally, without a written 
CORRESPOND apparemment ce qui a plu. Par exemple text, and apparently this is what people 
7A je me demande si je tie vats pas susciter liked. Although I wonder if this will 
quelques plaintes dans le monde not bring some complaints from the 
religieux conservateur: par la force des conservative religious milieu: By neces- 
choses, j'ai pris nettement et publique- sity I had to clearly and openly take the 
ment la position evolutionniste, - et la evolutionary position. Naturally, the 
presse a comme de juste "emphasized press "emphasized the thing". Perhaps 
the thing". Peut-etre est-ce "providen- this is providential. During the presen- 
ce/ ". - A la remise de la fameuse "Men- tation of the famous Mendel medal 
del medal" (qui est consideree id (which is considered here as something 
comme une chose plus importante que much more important than I thought) 

my little speech (written) has also been an explicit expression of belief in 
evolution, and the mostly catholic audience seems to have been pleased. I told 
essentially the same things to a reporter of the main newspaper of Toronto (he 
had come right from Toronto in order to interview me! . . .): lama bit curious to 
read the result of the long talk I have had with him. - On the whole, something 
has perhaps been launched: I had never had so far such an opportunity for 
expressing openly my thought. - Another and perhaps more important thing is 
that yesterday I have met here, in Washington, a really intelligent and influential 
colleague of mine (F. Walsh) {Father Edmund Walsh, S.J., at the School of For- 
eign Service, in Georgetown UniversityJ, who told me that he had just had a 
long talk with Dr. Carrel [Alexis Carrell, French surgeon and NobelistJ: he 
thinks of starting a kind of "Institute of Man", in order to study Man "as a 
whole", and is searching for specialists who could attack the problem from differ- 
ent and wide angles. Exactly what de Terra, I, etc. were dreaming! Walsh will 
write to Carrel about me (Carrel knows probably me also by the Rockefeller 
Foundation), - and I will try to have a talk with him in New-York, next week. - 
You see, everything seems to take a favourable way, ahead. 

I have seen a number of friends here: de Terra, von Koenigswald, Miss 
Garrod /Dorothy Garrod, English prehistorianj, Chaney, Granger, etc. De Terra 
shelters me in his nice little home, in the charming suburbs of Philadelphia, - and 
I have found, a second time, with him, his wife Rhoda, and the little Noelle, the 
family life of Rawalpindi in India. We have long talks together on any possible 
subject, included those on which we don't agree so much, you and me: and Rhoda 
is so amusingly and definitely on your side. - 1 found here an english translation 
of"Sauvons YHumanite"; I will keep a copy for you. - 1 had also several interest- 
ing talks with Miss Garrod: I hope to see more of her during the crossing of the 
Atlantic, - since she takes the same boat (Normandie) in the same class. 

Nothing very clear concerning the plans of the next year. De Terra is still 
uncertain whether he will stay in Philadelphia, or go to Harvard: from both sides 
he has propositions, - but nothing is settled. The famous Institute of Man in Phil- 
adelphia is still somewhat in the clouds, because the financial decisions will not 
be taken before the summer. Yet, I believe that something will materialize. In the 
meantimes, de Terra is afraid that the Hundes-basin (Himalaya) will be difficult 

to reach (for practical reasons), and we have made therefore another possible THEIR 
plan for exploring the Irawady valley (Burmah). No date fixed. Perhaps (?) next 1932 ~** 
winter. In any way, I foresee vaguely that I will be surely in Peiping the next 
autumn, and have a trip somewhere in the south during the winter (1938) with de j§ 
Terra, or v. Koenigswald, or Pei. - 

On the 29th of March, I go to Boston, in order to receive an honorary 
Doctorate in the Boston College (held by my Jesuit colleagues) together with 
Miss Garrodl The 31, 1 shall give a lecture in Harvard. Then I come back and stay 
in New-York up to my departure (April 14), - with a trip in Princeton University. 
-In Boston, I hope to see Alice fCosme] and miss Tucker. - Found here a very good 
and long letter from Ida (which I will send you in a few days), and another one 
from Max which I had not yet time for reading decently: he seems hopeful, on the 
whole, for his african business. 

Pardon me this hasty letter. I am still half-drowned in the number of 
things to do, and, this morning, 1 take the train back to Philadelphia. - At least, 
you will find here the substance of what I have done, and of what I think, - the 
whole thing being illuminated by your spiritual, but so real, presence, my dearest 

So deeply yours 


In the 1937 letters they exchanged (he in the States, she in China), they often referred to the 
many walks they had taken in the beautiful parks of the city. Lucile recalled an afternoon 
when they went to Central Park, a part of the Forbidden City where bowls of remarkable 
goldfish were exhibited. She remembered Teilhard explaining how the fish were bred — 
some to have tails longer than their bodies, some to have pompoms over their eyes. On 
these occasions he often discussed his philosophical and religious thoughts. As his think- 
ing became more and more familiar to her, his ideas were more comprehensible and took 
on greater and greater importance. She listened intently and from his conviction that "what 
she did was important because it was God's work", Lucile found affirmation and felt her- 
self to be a part of it all; that "God would be always with me and that we were building 
something - always, all the time". — from Lucile Swan's unpublished autobiography. 
The following letter is the earliest text of her letter to him. 

1 Ta Tien Sui Ching 
Peiping, March 31, 1937 

Pierre dear, 

One of the six months is all gone. For the first time since you left, I gave myself 
the luxury today of thinking concretely about the time when you would be back here 
again! Because it wiU happen one of these days and that will be so wonderful 

I have read your letter from Honolulu many times. I agree dear that it was very 
important for you to go to America and Europe just now, and I hope you realize how really 
glad I am that you are there. Bob Drummond read me some of Bill's letter which gave 
many more details of your life; and it certainly sounded as if you all were having a very 
good time. I loved the picture of you two rushing through dinner to go up and join a cock- 
tail party! And apparently Mrs. Ames is still telling the world how much she "adores" 
you! However I sent her the books! But all that must seem so very far away now, because 


TEILHARD you will have crossed another ocean when you read this. And then you will seem so much 
& LUCILE nearer 

Am so eager to get your letters from Philadelphia etc. and to hear how things 
75 went there; though I could well understand if you did not have anything absolutely defi- 
nite to report. And what have I to tell! Am still working on the head ofTarnowski which I 
think is going very well, though he is difficult to do. And the two figures is almost done; 
people seem to really like it and find it one of my best things. I hope it is for it was so mar- 
vebusly inspired! Otherwise life is pretty quiet. Very often go to a movie with Tarnowski 
after work. He comes in the afternoon. I have seen more pictures these last few weeks than 
in months before. Have been to a few neighborhood dinners, but have also had many din- 
ners with a good book for company. Have gone to the country the last few Sundays so have 
not seen Grabau, but Germaine said he was terribly depressed the last time she saw him. I 
must try to get there this week, but when? it is so far. 

Today was really rather spring-like, Central Park was full; the goldfish are out 
again and they have taken the winter coats off the peonies! So maybe spring really is near. 
I felt so depressed last week but I think it was mostly due to the endless dull cold windy 
days. The proofs of Personalistic Universe have gone back for the last time. I do hope I did 
not overlook too many mistakes! They will be ready in about two weeks. I told him not to 
hurry but to print them well. I'll send some to Simone as soon as they are finished. You 
will be seeing her soon! and is Max back yet and was he successful? what a lot of things 
you will have to write about! Do give them my love and how I wish I could join some of 
your talks! I hope my last letter was not too -insistent! But I guess after some of the talks 
we have had it would not shock you. Have not yet finished typing Christology and Evolu- 
tion; that too III send to Simone. I gave her a very badly done copy when I was in France. 

It seems to me I have not much news for you today, but I haven't been doing 
much. Spotty was very surprised and delighted when he received cakes the other day with- 
out even begging for them. I told him you had sent them but he did not properly appreciate 
that and I have to confess begged just as much as ever. Even Tungshi enjoyed them. His 
puppies are the cutest things I ever saw - am sorry I decided not to take one, but 3 would 
be a bit too much. 

I wonder if you finished the Phenomenon Spiritual; it was probably much better 
than you thought at the time. The new paper sounds fascinating and I can see how it 
might try to crowd the other one out of your mind. 

It will be so good to think of you in France and what a relief it will be when your 
letters can come regularly. And I do so hope that you will see clearly there - Life is not so 
simple as one can think it or talk it. But still some of the really important things do stand 
out - and I hope there will not be unexpected complications for you. 

As you know dearest my thoughts are always with you and you are always the 
best and most beautiful of life to me. 

Yours always 


In New York Teilhard had his first word from Lucile in over a month. Shortly afterwards he 
received from her a long chatty letter about their mutual friends and her ongoing copy 
work for his paper, Christology and Evolution. 

New-York, AprilS, 1937 THEIR 
Dearest, LETTERS 

Day before yesterday, at the American Museum, I found, with a deep joy, 
your precious letters 2 and 3, - the first ones since Yokohama; and, reading them, I 77 
felt like a seaweed when the tide comes back to it and shelters it anew under its 
flow of life. I knew it when I left Peiping, Lucile: this parting would only give me 
a better perspective of the great strength and happiness which you have become 
for me, -a kind of wide, and living and personal atmosphere in which the best of 
myself expands so totally and so naturally! God bless you, dearest, for what you 
give me so abundantly! - and may He help me to be always more the same for 
you! - I have enjoyed also reading all the small news you give me on the Peiping's 
life: those are little things, but which help me so much in living with you. Tell me 
all these details, when you write me, - specially those concerning your work, - 
and the people you see, - and your thoughts on the wall or in the Tai Miao. - By 
the way, there is surely a larger part of truth in your observation that "love of 
God" may be compared with the love one has for one's parents. But I do not think 
that this comparison reaches the very essence of the phenomenon. God seems to 
present itself to our being as the final center of our achievement by union (or by 
communion): and this is in the direct prolongation of the very attraction which 
brings each to the other two lovers. In fact, any kind of love can be recognized in 
the love of God: but true love gives to the whole thing its final hue or flavour. I 
will probably have to analyze these facts in a next Essay on the 
"Prolongations of Evolution". - 

My last letter (7) was sent from Washington. Since that time, I have been 
back to Philadelphia (where I have spent Easter with de Terra); - then to Boston 
and Harvard. I am here since two days. 

(1) In Philadelphia, I had the most pleasant time, and we talked for hours 
with "Hellmuth and Rhoda" on any possible subject (religion, philosophy, ethics 
and practical life). It would be difficult to find two people more deeply fond of 
each other, and yet more different from each other than those two. Rhoda has 
almost no conscious need of organizing her life under any philosophical nor reli- 
gious conception; and Hellmuth is almost "douloureusement" craving for it. She 
is full of an happy possession of the present; - and he is full of an anxious antici- 
pation of the future. He therefore is closer to me; but she obliges me to think more, 
- being given the fact, in addition, that she is terribly intuitive in psychological 
matters. I hope you will meet them, someday. The Saturday, eve of Easter, we 
decided to enjoy our time: lunch in a Swedish restaurant, movies in the afternoon, 
and music in the evening (the 9th symphony of Beethoven in the Philadelphia 
Orchestra). - 

(2) In Boston, I spent three days, and I saw a lot of people, either in the 
magnificent college belonging to my order, or in Harvard, and in town. -As I told 
you, perhaps, I have been invited by the College to receive an honorary Doctorate, 
together with Miss Garrod, - on the occasion of the opening of an anthropologi- 
cal department. Several "catholic anthropologists" were there. I was perfectly 
received by my colleagues, - but I found the position somewhat delicate. From 

TEILHARD Boston to Seattle, I have been pictured by the press as "the Jesuit who believes 

& WCILE fatf Man descends from Apes"; and this crude translation of my scientific state- 

ments has resulted into a shock for the irish-catholic opinion in this part of the 

yg world. My confreres, who are supposed to lead the roman orthodoxy, have been 
flooded with anxious letters (I have personally received a few of them, together 
with several others expressing relief) - And finally, very kindly and most embar- 
rassed, the President of Boston College let me understand that it would be diffi- 
cult for him to confer on me the famous Doctorate, by fear that this honour would 
induce the american catholics to believe that Boston College was endorsing my 
views: a rather funny and a bit dangerous situation. Since however I have met, 
very friendly, the most important representatives of my order in Washington, 
Boston and New-York, I hope that things are not going to become more serious for 
me. On the whole, I am rather disgusted by the press, - but not absolutely disatis- 
fied to have found an occasion for expressing what I think. (In Boston, as in 
Washington, I had several private talks, perfectly frank, with several of my 
younger colleagues). 

In Harvard, I found the most charming and refreshing welcome, and my 
lecture seems to have been appreciated. This time, helped by the Harvard's profes- 
sors, I kept the newspapermen in almost decent limits. 

Finally, in Boston, I have seen Alice and Miss Tucker. - Alice and Frank 
met me the first day, and brought me to their home for lunch. I found them in the 
most extatic conditions of the youngest couple of the world. She is in the sky, - 
and he is beaming on her. And yet there is no excitation in the matter: they have a 
rather difficult life, - not many prospects. Simply they enjoy to be and to struggle 
together. In a month, they will leave the Dr. Grabau's brother's house and settle 
in their new home, - a positively charming spot, with a few acres of ground, in the 
woods, some 8 miles from the town. Frank is really a lovable young man, ener- 
getic, clever, and affectionate. Alice is a different woman, much more steady and 
optimistical, under the same childish enthusiasm for a poem or a flower. She does 
not regret China, - but she does not forget her friends of Peking, and you are one of 
the best Her feelings for Dr. Grabau have also settled or evolved in a right way. I 
could easily feel that she likes now to talk of him. She writes to him, from time to 
time. The old man does not write her, but recently he sent her all his books on gar- 
dening. - With Miss Tucker I spent the morning and the noon of the last day. She 
is really a nice girl, so frank et so alive. We had lunch together in the "Country 
Club", at the expenses of Daddy, - and we talked philosophy, Begouens, Ida, etc. 
She hopes to spend a few weeks in France this summer, - and she told me several 
times how much she likes you. - 

Here, in New-York, I have so far spent all my time in the American 
Museum, mostly with Granger. Roy had me at lunch with Granger in his impres- 
sive office (planned and under the control of "Billy", who has wisely insisted for 
a small liquors-cabinet): we had a gay time. - Tomorrow, I am invited by the 
President of the Rockefeller Foundation (Dr. Fosdick); I hope to meet there Dr. 
Carrel. - Before the 14 (date of my sailing to Europe) I will write you my impres- 
sions in these lines. - By the way, nothing more has been decided with de Terra 
concerning next year: all depends on the further decisions ofMerriam concerning 

the position ofde Terra in Philadelphia. The Burmah trip might be therefore post- THEIR 

poned up to the winter 1939. In such case, I would probably have to spend in 1932 ~ 41 

South China a part of the next winter 2938. - In any way, the next autunm will be 

a calm period in Peiping, for me. - 79 

This letter, I observe, is very badly written, dearest I hope you can read 

me. Something at least which you will understand easily is how much I belong to 

you and I hope in you. - So far, in spite of the confusion of too many various 

impressions, I feel that this journey has come in the right time for pushing me 

more clearly forward. - I suppose that the three next months will give me still 

more, which I soon will bring back to you. - 



I was much interested by your impressions in reading the Translation of a Per- 
sonalistic Universe. - 

Toutes sortes d' amities a Nirgidma: Williams n'etait malheureusement 
pas a Washington (on m'a dit au'il voyage actuellement en Malaisiel). 

Souvenirs a Tarnowski! 

At the beginning of April, Lucile had just received Teilhard's March 12 shipboard letter 
written as he had prepared to disembark at Victoria. 

1 Ta Tien Shut Citing, April 7, 1937 

Pierre dearest, 

Your precious letter from Victoria came a couple of days ago and as always was a 
great joy to me. You seem to have met a lot of really interesting people on the boat which is 
rather unusual; or perhaps not, maybe it is you who bring them out. It was good of you to 
write and I am even more anxious to get your next letter from Philadelphia. 

Life goes on much the same here, spring seems to have really arrived lately and 
some of the earliest fruit trees are in blossom, and the lilacs in my front court will be out in 
a few days. They have dug up the grape vine and all together it is beginning to have a more 
festive look. The wisteria is always late so I do not yet know how it is going to behave, but 
I hope that it is going to bloom this year. It will in my heart if not on the vine!!!! 

Pierre dearest I have been so full of you lately, not that I am not always so, but it 
seems that you have been especially close lately. I wonder where your are now, probably in 
N.Y. and will soon be leaving for France. 

Last Friday I had had a beautiful day in the country with Hedime Gage and John 
Tarnowski. I came in a bit late and who should I find having tea here but Nirjidma and 
TressardU [Trassaert, misspelled by Lucile] / got such a thrill out of seeing him 
because it felt as if you must be some where near. I hope I did not startle him by the 
warmth of my greeting. I was glad to see him for himself but the extra enthusiasm was all 
for you dear. He was also dressed for the field, which was quite a relief, was leaving that 
night for Shansi. He said that he had heard from you so he lias also probably written to 
you. Last night Nirjidma came and had dinner with me alone and told me a lot about 


TEILHARD Brael. She is leaving in a few days to live with him in Shanghai, also taking her son with 

,^«5wf ^ She toW m a lot about his W e ' wh y ^ ft that we nearl y al1 mu$t 8° throu 8 h such a ter ~ 
riblefire? Also she has seen Quintini several times lately. From what she said, it seems 

gQ that his affairs are not going any better. She said she spoke very straight and frankly to 
him; which may have seemed hard, but also may have been rather good for him. But prob- 
ably you have heard directly from them all. 

Today I went to a cocktail party at the Gages, she is leaving for Europe on Satur- 
day. I have seen quite a lot of her lately and like her so much, am so sorry she is leaving. 
Tomorrow the Gages, Tillie and Tarnowski are coming for dinner and then we are going to 
an amateur play at the P.UM.C. Saturday I am going to the Hills for a few days with 
Nathalie Merrell and Tillie. I have only been out for Sunday up to now. It has really been 
too cold to want to stay longer, but shall be glad of a few days; it is always such a delight to 
wake up out in the country. Remember the delightful week end we had at Chou Kou Tien 
last year? Which makes me think of the Camps. I had the announcement of the birth of a 
daughter of Feb 16, from them, perhaps you heard too. 

I am glad you finished your essay before leaving the boat and I await most impa- 
tiently the copy of it. I suppose in America you will be too busy with scientific things to 
have too much time to write. But I do so hope you talked with a lot of people and got the 
"feeling" of things and of people of TODAY; Oh dearest it is so hard some times when you 
are away for me to reconcile certain things, your ideas which are so completely modern, 
with certain other things, which are so a part of the Moyen age!!! Is it part of the whole 
scheme of things that we should not understand things?? And we talk about love, but 
always with so many restraints and restrictions that it has no natural or free expression!! 
The same old subject, you say? But I really don't understand nor feel the rightness of some 
of your views any more than I did the first time we talked!! That is, if we are REALLY 
honest. Sometimes I wonder if I place honesty too high? It has always seemed to me the 
one sure "free will" that we have, and that it is the most important instrument we have for 
making progress. At least I know that for myself it is not only important but absolutely 
necessary. Even if it hurts and seems to do harm sometimes, I can't see any other way to 
get ahead. Oh I probably just don't understand or else my view point is not long enough!!! 
But I know that you are much wiser than I am and also that I love you more than anything 
in the world . . so it will all be alright 

Good night precious, at least I feel so sure that you have not changed . . and that 
is muck 

All the strength and goodness that is in me is yours. Oh dearest I want so much 
to say all sorts of foolish but beautiful things to you - and the "rain" is falling so fast I 
can't see the letters! 

Normandie, a bord, le April 17, 37 


We are now half-way of the atlantic, and I wish to have this letter catch- 
ing the next Transsiberian. In two days, I will feel the hot of Paris: a new period 
in my journey. Here I must try to summarize, in a talk with you, my last impres- 
sions of America. 

My last (8) was written, I believe, just after my passage in Boston and 
Harvard. Since then, I have been in New York; then, for the last week-end, in Phil- 
adelphia (and Princeton) with de Terra, and then I have left. - On the whole, from 


the scientific side, I have been "comble". Awfully nice people, and most interest- THEIR 
ing talks, suggestions, and observations. Every day, I had lunch or dinner with l 9 J^{, 
some friends, - either in a small New York appartement, where we cooked in the 
"minuscule" and neat kitchens, between the electric stove and the frigidaire, - g^ 
either (once) in the princiere residence of Mr. Frick at Roselyn, Long Island, - 
either (once also) at the 65th floor of the Rockefeller Center, or in the Rockefeller 
Institution, en tete a tete avec Carrel et son bonnet blanc. This month in America 
seems to me a perpetual talk with an incredible variety of different people: on sci- 
ence and ethics or religion. During the last fortnight, the reporters did no more 
care of me, - and I have the impression that the "fundamentalist reaction" has 
greatly settled down. Nobody, I suppose, will complain to Rome. 

At the Rockefeller Foundation, I was treated by a big bunch of some 20 
people: Dr. Fosdick (the President), Dr. Weaver (the head of the department in 
charge of C.K.T.), and all the available officers of the Foundation were there. 
Most cordial meeting. - and (still more important) most frank and pleasant pri- 
vate talk with Dr. Weaver. Mr. Gun was there, - and I remember the last cocktail 
given by Magdalen. 

Dr. Carrel is just like his picture and his book: cheerful, clear- and strong- 
minded, - very objective in his views. I had him talking on his dream of an organ- 
isation for the study of "Man as a whole". So far I canfocuss and interpret it for 
myself (without distorting it, I am sure) the Carrel's idea would be to start a 
"Science of human Energ y", covering the following points: 1) physico-medical 
preservation and improvement of the best races; 2) preservation and development 
of human interest and zest for life by discovery of appropriate aims or ends, - and 
consequently by elaboration of a true Religion of effort; 3) special study of vari- 
ous psychical forces, such as sexual attraction, telepathy, collective energies, etc. 
- 1 feel that I will soon try to fix these views in some personal Essay on "Venergie 
humaine", which seems to me, just now, the best way for concentrating and 
expressing the ideas on the "still moving world", and on a new Morality (based 
on the increase of Energy) which we have been so much discussing during the last 
months. By flashes, road discovers itself so clear and straight, in front of me... - 
When in France, I will type the pages I have written on the Pacific concerning the 
"Spiritual Phenomenon". But I think they are only a sketch of what I perceive 
now from a better point of vantage. - I have left to Carrel a Memorandum ofde 
Terra on Human Geology, and my pages on "le front humain". We shall possibly 
meet in Paris in June. 

From de Terra's side, it seems that the Burma plan becomes more consis- 
tant. The trip is di&d&L and its strategic importance appears now overwhelm- 
ing. But the date cannot be fixed so far, so long as the work of Paterson in 
England (on the Indian material) is not finished. We hope to have the thing made 
next winter, however. The Pinkleys {from the American Museum in New York] 
would probably come. 

On the eve of my departure, I had a call from Bill Drummond, back in 
New York. First, strong cocktail and pekinese gossips in the strange appartment 
of strange H. Priest, strangely dressed in white silk kimono. Then, dinner and 
long chat (both of us) in a german restaurant near Lexington. As you know, Bill 

TE11MARD has been dropped by his girl: not depressed but growing suspicious towards the 
& LUCRE female j fae species, Hope that he will emerge of the thing wiser, but not defiant 
nor cynical. You may help him. He plans to come back to China next fall, if the 
$2 curios business proves satisfactory.- 

And finally, on the morning of the 7th, I stepped on the deck of the huge 
Normandie, leaving in N.Y. several things undone, (positively no time for reach" 
ing your friends; I have even forgotten to telephone to de Grive, a friend of the 
Begouen and of Betty Tuckerl . . .). Miss Garrod is on board, in the same class, - 
and thefrench "gar cons" address us ceremoniously "Monsieur et Madame". She is 
a fine girl, and an extremely congenial friend, - in the same exactly religious posi- 
tion as myself. - You have probably been amused to see our pictures in Life. - The 
crossing is so short that I do not make any acquaintance outside of her. -At the 
same table, in the dining-room, a young and rather green patriote-catholique- 
Alsacien is a bit scared of my pink political color. In New York (amongst my reli- 
gious colleagues) I had also a short, but rather sharp talk in support of the Span- 
ish leftists: more expects me probably in France. Miss Garrod told me that a 
grand-grandson of Darwin has just been killed with the loyalists, in Madrid. - 1 
don't know whether I am with the communists; - but I am sure that I am with the 
moving wing of mankind; - the left one, by definition. 

Now I must tell you the great and deep joy which has been for me your 
letter of March 13, - when you try to analyze "what has happened to us" this 
year. I know, Lucile, that you will probably not see so clear all the time. By peri- 
ods, the feeling of being separated will perhaps submerge the consciousness of our 
fundamental and growing union. But I am so happy that, from time to time, 
(when your perception of things is at its best) , you become aware of the consis- 
tance, the value, and the increase of "what is happening". - You have never been 
more precious, nor so close, to me. - Your presence will help me in France, what- 
ever good or bitter may be there waiting for me. - 1 will write you again as soon 
as I am a little "installs". - God bless you, dearest. 


P.S.- 1 scarcely saw Roy [Chapman Andrews], very busy. We had, with him and 
Granger, a most charming lunch in his impressive office, nicely arranged under 
the supervision of "Billy", who has wisely insisted for a closet full of material for 
cocktails. - But perhaps I have already told you that. 

"Good Earth" was going on in the movies, with a wonderful advertise- 
ment in Broadway: a green dragon, with a red tongue, and puffing vapour through 
its nose! 

- De Terra gave me the last book of Whitehead: "Religion on making" 
[Alfred North Whitehead's "Religion in the Making"J. Full of interesting state- 

- Roy sends me as a representative of the N.Y. Museum to Moskow. 

Paris, April 24, 37 

Lucile dear, 

I answer here your two letters of March 31 and April 7, the first one found 
here a mon arrivee, the second one received two days ago, - two very precious let- 

ters, dearest, which made me deeply happy, because you are so comprehensive, so THEIR 
active, so close to me. Still, evidently, remains this question of "honesty" which I932 ~^ 
you move at the end of your last letter: honest you are, from your point of view, - 
and honest I am, from my side, because I go as far as I can to remain fair to my #3 
truth, and not to ruin myself in the minds of those who, I hope, will gradually 
follow the same path as myself You must forgive me, Lucile,for this apparently 
unnatural situation where I drove you (perhaps too much unconsiderably) by my 
fault God knows that I would like to have the whole burden on myself, - and 
that there is nothing which I do not do for compensating, on the possible grounds, 
the things which, for higher reasons, I cannot give you (and itlis hard for me not 
to give you). Sometimes I think that this very privation I must impose you makes 
me ten times more devoted to you . . . Anyhow, something seems sure to me: even 
admitted that I am materially wrong, and that, someday, "chastity" will defi- 
nitely prove not to be connected with a higher spirituality, it remains that love 
needs presently a deep transformation in order to become the great human energy, 
and that we are working and praying for this transformation. Let us find, in the 
consciousness of this task, the strength and the joy for going ahead. This letter 
will reach you very close to May 10 [Lucile's birthday]. That whole day, espe- 
cially, I will be present to you. God bless you, dearest, for what you are, and for 
what you are for me! 

In your letters, I enjoy immensely all the small details you give me on 
your life, and on your work. Hope the glycine (wisteria) is going to grow! - Here, 
since six days, I have been caught in the whirl I expected (and I was afraid of): a 
queer feeling to find oneself immerged in something which was formerly so tense 
and so alive, and to which one is no more adjusted, at the depth of oneself A mix- 
ture of exaltation and anguish . ..-I try to cling to faith in life, and to go on, - 
without understanding much what is happening to me on the whole. - So far, 
nothing especially interesting to tell you: a number of hasty contacts with vari- 
ous friends, without reaching the vital points. The dominant thing now, in 
France, is the universal feeling of discomfort and anxiety amongst the obscure 
movements of the social masses. In the course of a year, apparently, the "syndi- 
cal" spirit has intensely increased. An isolated individual is a dead man. And, 
unfortunately, the lower parts of the mass exhibit the worst parts of themselves: 
instead of justifying their rights by working better, the workmen become more 
impossible each time they are accorded something more. They can not accept any 
more to work "for a boss" (pour un patron); but they do not realize yet what kind 
of brain is required for carrying on the direction of any kind of business. That 
leads to impossible situations. A favourable circumstance is that, now, the engi- 
neers (ingenieurs) have started their own unions, and have eventually decided 
their own strikes against the striking workman, - a great and unpleasant surprise 
for these latter ones. - Evidently, something is changing fast at the depth of the 
civilized world. But an increase of ideal is absolutely necessary for avoiding that 
a necessary dissolution should turn into a "decomposition": hatred, and bestial 
sensuality, are rampant in the "peuple". - Anyhow, there is no doubt that the new 
world "est en train de naitre a gauche", - and therefore I feel myself more and 
more on the left side, - in spite of the fact that, just now, the leftists are often just 

TEHHARD as disagreable as the rightists. I do not think that it is possible to guess already 

& LUCILE yfatf j $ g i nx to be the shape of the world ahead. But that would be a first seri- 

ous improvement if more people were fighting today with the idea that we are 

$4 constructing something, - and not only trying to escape a "catastrophe". - As we 

have already told together, the present crisis, and its solution, are a matter of 

Hope (or Faith).- 

Here I am provisonally living at the place where the Review "Les Etudes" 
is edited (where I was planning to have my article on the Front Humain pub- 
lished): the most intellectual center of Paris so far my Order is concerned. Two 
types of men here, belonging to two intellectual sides and generations, but all of 
them very friendly to me. I could not yet make clear why my paper has been so 
unanimously held as "impubliable", and I suspect some mistake in understand- 
ing which perhaps can be corrected. Anyhow, I feel that my thoughts are centering 
more and more intensely on the theoretical and practical problem of Human 
Energy. I will do my best for typing as soon as I can "le Phenomene Spirituel". - 
No indication, so far, that my "evolutive statements" in America have stirred the 
Roman authority. But, on this point, I do not worry: if I am asked for some expla- 
nations, my position on the problem [of evolution] is perfectly simple, strong and 
definitive. - Probably I shall see the Cardinal of Paris and give him myself "La 
Conversion du Monde". 

Since this letter is started writing, I have seen (yesterday) Simone and 
Max (just arrived from Africa). Max looks all right, tanned, enthusiastic, - almost 
a new man. His fight in and on the Colonies have hardened his will and made his 
mind clearer. Apparently he has really started a change in the relationships 
between Whites and Negroes. The final battle is going to befighted here, au Min- 
istere des Colonies. Simone is still more marvelous than before, if possible. Both 
talked of you with such admiration and sympathy! ...I was proud, of course. The 
photo of my "buste" was there, - much prised (as a piece of art). After a real 
"drama" which I will tell you in Peiping, everything is all right with Ida. She has 
succeeded in transforming the mind and the soul of Andre, who is now for her a 
son, as much as a lover. Andre is now writing with her, and more than her: a sur- 
prising awakening, according to Simone. And Ida is so happy to watch her own 
work and success on this young man. "Paul" in the meantimes becomes an impor- 
tant political man (I hope to see him), at the risk of losing his fine and clear ide- 
alism. — 

Goodbye for this time, dearest. I will write you again very soon, when 
things have a little more developed. 



I have seen Pei, with great mutual joy. His thesis is ready. He will come back to 
Peiping this summer, probably with me. 

Coincidentally, Lucile wrote to Teilhard asking about Alexis Carrel while his long letter 
about that meeting was en route. In fact, he had written again — from France before she 
wrote from Peking. 

April 28 1937 THEIR 
Your visit in America was a grand success, I am so glad, but not at all surprised! letters 

I suppose in your next letter you will tell something of your meeting with Dr. Carrel That 
sounds MOST interesting. Getting in touch will all those people was of course one of the # 5 
most important parts of your trip . . All the medals, etc. are rather gratifying, I should 
think, but they are for PAST works; and these meetings etc. are all for the future!! Your 
picture of life with the De Terra family sounded so delightful — and I am so glad Mrs. de 
T. was so strongly on my side!!! Perhaps the women will have to come out more for the 
next important steps in progress to take place!!!!!! I told you a friend had sent me a clip- 
ping about you from a Florida paper: heading "Man is descended from apes, say Jesuit sci- 
entist". Have you had reverbrations from the conseroatists yet? I suppose it is bound to 
come; but it must have been rather a relief to you to SAY what you so strongly believe — 
and out loud!! 

And now you have been in Prance for a long time, or more than a week anyway. 
And what do you find there. Are conditions as bad as they sound? Your letters will be 
coming more regularly soon and that will be good. Yesterday I saw Jacques at a cocktail. 
He was glad to have news of you, he looked more bird-like than ever! 

This afternoon I have my last meeting of my class for this year. I have finished the 
head ofTarnowski which everyone seems to be quite enthusiastic about and "our" couple 
are really most done, though there are a few details that do not yet wholly satisfy me... I 
do so want that to be good!! And another small figure which I started a few days ago is 
quite successful, at least it has a certain "sculptural" quality which I was trying so hard to 
get And I have made a few drawings that rather please me!! 

The week-end in the country was lovely, we had a lot of long walks, the bright 
small green leaves on the willows and the fruit blossoms made it quite enchanting. It was 
just about a year ago that we went to Ta Chieh Ssu with Rose and Michael — which was 
such a happy day in spite of the dust. I have just returned from a walk in the Nan Hai, 
every place is so beautiful just now..and it is all so much more beautiful because every 
thing has so much more meaning than it ever had before, which as you know, is due to 

This morning I met Mrs. Bien, who said that Eddie is still in Yunnan. Andersson 
is here now but I have not met him . . I heard he gave a most interesting talk at the Natural 
History dinner last Saturday. And dear old Grabau, I see him so seldom ...lam going to 
the country again this weekend with Bob Drummond and two house guests of his. We are 
going to a prince's tomb up near the "Eagle's Nest" — where we had that picture and the 
grand picnic with the Tyrwhitts and Goehring. You remember it? That was one of the 
most perfect days of my experience! 

Yesterday I sent Simone 36 copies of Personalistic Universe (could only have 18 
in a package). If ever she wants more tell her to let me know. Also sent separate copies to B. 
Tucker, Mrs. Ames, Mrs. Wood, Rose, Francis Carter and another two friends of mine. Be 
sure to tell me if there are others you want sent. And I sliall be hoping to receive a copy of 
the last paper before very long . . Am glad you told me about the translation of "Savons 
YHumanite " . . I should love to have a copy of it . . I don't know about sending to de 
Terra!!!! but I think I shall do so anyway. Im sure it can't do any harm and he might like it 
in English, or at least she. 

Nothing much else my dean.The wisteria has put out a few feeble leaves, but at 
least I know it is not dead, it always takes several years for them to get started. And it will 





soon be your birthday. You can be sure I'll be thinking of you most of both days — and 
even some others too!!!!!! 

Your letter was so full of exciting news, this seems very quiet in comparison — 
and I do so hope the good things will continue in France — and I feel so sure they will 

My deepest love to you, always and all the time — / have said to you so often how 
you make life rich and full for me. But almost every day something happens that makes me 
always more conscious of this fact - and I am so grateful to you for all you give me — 

Yours always — Lucile 

Paris, May 5th, 1937 

Lucile dear, 

This is my second letter from Paris. Since the last one, 1 received your 
no.5 (18 March!), forwarded from America: not much "up to date", of course, but 
so precious too, because there is no "date" for what you send me of you. And pre- 
ciously, also, 1 have received, and I keep in myself, your warning, not to let me 
influence unduly by anybody. I do, and will do, my best in that line, for me, and 
for you. — In the meantime, I enjoy so much to know something of the detail of 
your life, — and of the development of your work. - J wonder whether you will 
decide a trip in the Shansi. 

Here, I am still in the whirl, although 1 succeed so far in saving most of 
my evenings, and consequently of my nights. Finally, I am glad to stay here (15, 
rue Monsieur): the house is quiet, — and I have more opportunity than every- 
where else for talking with the best of my colleagues. Gradually, the social con- 
tacts become more definite. This afternoon, for instance, I have a lecture (on 
Sinanthropus) a I'Institut d'Ethnologie. Private talks, on another hand, help me 
in the task of acquiring a better consciousness of my own views or aspirations. I 
suppose that my next Essay will be positively a sketch (or programm) of the new 
Science, "qui est partout dans Vair", the Science of Human Energy. — We need ter- 
ribly a constructive and optimistic soul, today, in France. Here as elsewhere, "la 
masse" is awakening, for never going to sleep again. But here there is no strong 
hand for keeping it forcibly at its proper place. France is making an experiment 
for self-education of the "mass". Will the workmen prove themselves able to keep 
the "sense of the work" above the pure enjoyment (?) of their success? The whole 
question is there. I have seen recently one of the leaders of the Front Populaire, — 
hopeful. One thing at least is sure: people are decided to break "les pouvoirs d' ar- 
gent" (without breaking, for that, "le pouvoir de V argent"). A new world is surely 
coming to birth. A matter of stronger hope, as we have told so often. 

I have somewhat retouched my paper on Le Front Humain ("Sauvons 
VHumanite"), without weakening it: maybe it will be accepted (my colleagues 
wish its publication). Slowly, also, page by page, I type "Le Phenomine Spiri- 
tuel"), which I will send you as soon as it is ready. A few days ago, Simone 
[B£gouenJ showed me the supply she has now ready of my papers: a real clandes- 
tine shop! 

Talking of the Begouens, 1 must tell you that things are not going well 
there, just now. Last week (on the very day of his return) Max got new and serious 
trouble in his poor arm; and he is now in the hospital, with a strong fever. Yester- 

day, the surgeons (amongst the best of Paris) were still undecided to perform an THEIR 
operation. Poor Max! — Simone is simply wonderful, — always with her quiet, 1932 ~** 
angelic smile, — never showing how tired she is. — Life is so strange and so hard. 
And yet I see less and less how we can do anything else but to adore what is going $y 
on through it — Nothing new, so far Ida is concerned. I hope she will come to 
Paris from Marseilles, before I leave. 

Next Monday (May 10) I go to Lyon, in order to meet several friends, — 
and also my "Superior". Apparently, Rome (my Order, I mean) is a bit angry for 
the comments of the press on my talk in Philadelphia. But I do not think that 
anything serious will arise from the situation. I am rather strongly supported by 
my colleagues, and it was impossible for me to talk in a more moderate way than 
I did in America. — Anyhow, I am glad, at the bottom of my soul, to have found 
this opportunity for being frank; and I am sure that a number of good christians 
thank me for it. — I plan to go to Cambridge on May 31. — 

Goodby, dearest — I will write you very soon a letter n.12, — probably 
on my return from Lyon. I feel so light and so strong because you are with me. 

My best regards to the friends (Bob Drummond, Tarnowsky, etc.)! 



les Hoppenots are here: I did not see them, so far. 

Dr. Wong is expected in Paris at the end of May. 

Some personal comments and news about friends, colleagues, and mutual concerns are 
omitted in the following paragraphs from a very long letter that Lucile wrote to Teilhard on 
her birthday. 

1 Ta Tien Shui Ching Hutung 


May 10, 1937 


And now it is my birthday!! and how I wish you were here to celebrate it with me 
as you were last year. I remember we went to Central Park to see the peonies and then sat 
on a bench near the water and you talked . . so beautifully and so inspiringly . . . 

Your blessed letter of April 17 written on the Normandie came a few days ago 
and as always most welcome, and this one was of particular interest as it told of your last 
days in America. I am so excited about the proposed Institute for the Science of Human 
Energy - and it seems to me you would have such a tremendous amount to contribute to 
such an institution. Have those people seen any of your other papers? I hope you will meet 
in Paris again in June. And I am so glad the trip with de Terra is definitely going to be. I 
have a feeling that you will be tying up the threads of your scientific work more and more 
the next few years and then spend more and more time on the study of and help for the 
man of today and tomorrow!! And with these few trips that you feel are necessary for you 
to round out your special work done, this new institute will come just at the time when 

TEllHAKD you will be most ready to contribute to it — It may be your great chance to present and 
& LUCILE My i gQQg m £ eX p 0Utu i y 0ur faa f a Personal God — which is in danger of being put 
aside by the scientists. It looks as if things are working out so well for you... and him 
gg true and how assuring are those times when one sees the road so clearly ahead — I hope 
the light will always be there to guide you. There are times of course when it is not so clear, 
but you have your ideas so definitely in hand now that they can only be momentarily (if at 
all) confused —I suppose, dearest, that you may not yet be through with what the newspa- 
pers started in the StatesJhings travel around the world so quickly these days; I only hope 
that there will not be anything very disturbing or depressing for you to face.. Pierre dear it 
makes me so very happy to think that my love and belief in you may be of some strength to 
you — 

Am so glad that Roy is sending you as the representative of the N.Y. museum to 
Russia. The Life with your picture has not yet arrived here, shall be most interested to see 
it — 

You forgot to send on the letter of Ida Treat . . .but maybe after you are settled 
down a bit there you will have time to give me news of all the people there. And dearest I 
do so hope that things are going well for you, be sure to tell me. 

Paris, May 19th, 1937 

Lucile dear, 

I am very late in my letters, this time! Three letters of you (the 2 last ones 
from April 22 & 28) since I sent you my no. 11. But, as you shall see, this is not my 
fault First, I had to go to Lyon, last week. — Then, the very day I came back to 
Paris, I got a rather strong fever (nothing serious finally), — and I am still in the 
Hospital! (a very good house, "I'Hopital Pasteur", where I am perfectly attended, 
— visited by friends, — and somewhat spoiled). — Finally, the doctors could find 
nothing serious, — nor very clear, in my case. The fever is over, — and I am just 
recuperating now. 

This small illness has been evidently rather disturbing for all my plans 
and various appointments. Hope that everything will be settled the next week. — 
In Lyon, I had three busy days. Finally the American complaints will have tut 
practical results for me, so far Rome is concerned: the question seems settled 
"pacifiquement". — On another hand, I have received, from Rome, "la defense 
formelle" to go to Moskow. without any explanation. — Possibly, this is a mere 
misunderstanding which will be cleared up these very days. — But, if I am for- 
bidden to go there "en defiance de Moscow", then, la defense sera maintenue; — 
and 1 will have to plan my way back to China by a simpler way, for instance via 
Siberia, directly, at the beginning of August (?) — I will write you longer when I 
am out of the hospital. 

Good bye, dearest. — Your presence helps me now more than ever! — 
Thanks for your long letters! — Max is much better, and at home, now. Simone 
has received "the Personalistic Universe" (I did not see it, so far). 

Saluez Ida. 



Paris, May 22, 1937 THEIR 
LucileDear, LETTERS 

I have received yesterday your long letter of May 4, in which you give me 
so many details on your life and on your work. Such a joy for me. Yes, dearest, 
you care "a lot!' for developing whatever I may have in myself useful for the 
world around us. 

In the meantimes, I am rather experiencing the less strong and glorious 
sides of myself — which, after all, is also a useful experience, since life is together 
increase and decrease. I am still in the hospital — although so much better (no 
more fever since several days that I wonder why I am still kept here. Apparently, 
I did not have anything else hut a "banale infection intestinale" . But it seems as 
if the doctors had taken this opportunity for giving me rest and cure. — J must 
say that I begin to find the time a bit long, in my bed. Hope that after two or three 
days they will let me out. 

This small illness has just come in time for preventing me from giving a 
few lectures. All my plans are somewhat disturbed! Probably, I will go to see my 
brother, in Auvergne, at the end of the month, — and later to Cambridge. As for 
Moskow, I have no answer from Rome, so far. After all, if they insist for my ngl 
going to the Congress, many things will be simpler: I will take quietly and 
smoothly the life up to the end of July, — and then come back to China directly. 

Good bye, dearest. — Evidently the typing of "Le Phenomene Spirituel" 
has made no progress; since a fortnight! On the other hand, after a talk with 
Monsignor de Solages (an influential friend from Toulouse), I see more and more 
positively that I should write r for publication, a kind of summary on "Man", — - 
in which the main and surer lines of my other Essays would be selected and 
recasted into a whole. Better than to try to mend and to re-adjust the old things. 

Good bye, again. 


Teilhard spent the summer in France. He was ill and Europe was certainly in crisis when he 
wrote from Paris in the spring. (The German Army was occupying the Rhineland, civil war 
was tearing Spain apart, Portugal's dictator continued in power, the Rome-Berlin axis was 
flourishing, and France seemed to be wavering in its committments to Czechoslovakia.) 

Paris, May 29, 1937 

Lucile dear, 

I hope you have not been anxious when receiving my two last letters from 
an hospital! . . . Now, I am back to my Paris home, since three days already, — 
and I feel stronger very fast, every day. Finally, although I have been in care of the 
best doctors and of the best institution in town for any kind of colonial disease, 
nobody knows exactly what I got during these few days of fever. Probably a very 
banal type of infection, by which I have possibly got rid of slowly accumulated 
"germs". I can not say that I have particularly enjoyed this time of confinement 





in a small room and in bed. But, after all, this is an experience, and an useful one 
for getting a real conviction that the success of our lives is in the hands of a 
Greater than ourselves. 

Just for my return here, I got your precious letter of May 10 (your birth- 
day!), and I enjoyed so deeply each line of your two long pages. So glad that you 
had such a fine day, and so many flowers, and so encouraging appreciations for 
your work. This work of yours interests me just so much as anything I can do 
myself in my own lines . . . And, in addition, it is such a pleasure for me to have 
by you "the Peking's chronicle". The scientific side of the life, there, I got yester- 
day by a letter (long and methodical) from Weidenreich, and a few (much more 
funny) lines from Mrs. Hempel. Everything seems to be going OK. in the Lab. 
Weidenreich complains to be short of money for trips in South China: but I know 
that the Geological Survey will back us for this purpose if Rockefeller turns to be 
insufficiently generous J will send you a copy as soon as it is ready. 

Rien de tres nouveau, comme de Nothing very new in my experience 
juste, dans mon experience. Ce sejour of course. This stay in my bedroom 

en chambre m' a fait manquer une serie 
de conferences que je devais donner. 
Tant pis. Je suis juste sorti a temps 
pour assister en partie a la remise 
solennelle d'une medaille a mon vieux 
maitre et ami, le Prof. Boule. Reunion a 
la fois solennelle, familiale et amu- 
sante, ou j'ai revu beaucoup d'amis. 
Pei est apparu avec un bel habit neuf, 
oil il avait du faire passer toutes ses 
economies (moi aussi, je me fais faire 
des habits neufs.). Breuil etait la aussi, 
naturellement. Je Vat revu plusieurs 
fois, depuis une dizaine de jours. — Ce 
matin, coup de telephone de Hoppenot, 
qui me demande a dejeuner la semaine 
prochaine. Ce soir, j f attends Le Fevre, 
que je reverrai avec grande joie. Vous 
ai-je dit qu'il s'est fait baptiser 
catholique, il y a deux mois? J'ai ete 
trts surpris de la nouvelle, et je voud- 
rais beaucoup savoir ses impressions 
(que je vous dirai). J'avais toujours 
remarque son inter et pour les questions 
religteuses; mais je ne pensais pas qu'il 
evoluerait si vite. Je soupconne que les 
evenements politiques ont eu une cer- 
taine influence sur sa decision. Vous ne 
vous doutez pas de la tension "spiritu- 
elle" en Europe, et specialement en 
France, en ce moment. J'avais laisse la 
France vague et inerte, il y a deux ans. 

made me miss a series of lectures 
which I was supposed to give. Never 
mind. I had just left in time to attend 
part of the solemn presentation of a 
medal to my old master and friend, 
Prof. Boule. This reunion was at the 
same time solemn, friendly and amus- 
ing, and I saw many of my old friends. 
Pei arrived wearing a handsome new 
suit for which he had probably spent 
all his savings (I, too, am having new 
suits made.). Breuil was there also, nat- 
urally. I have seen him again several 
times these past ten days. Hoppenot 
called me this morning: he wants me to 
come for lunch next week. This 
evening I am expecting Le Fevre; I'll be 
very happy to see him again. Have I 
told you that he asked to be baptized as 
a Catholic two months ago? I was most 
surprised by this news and I really 
want to know about his impressions 
(I'll tell you about them). I had noticed, 
a long time ago, how interested he was 
in religion, but I didn't think he would 
evolve so quickly. I suspect that the 
political events have had some influ- 
ence on his decision. You have no idea 
of the "spiritual" tension in Europe, 
and especially in France right now. Two 
years ago I left a France which was pas- 
sive and lifeless. Now under the pres- 

Maintenant, sous la pression des men- 
aces et des aspirations sociales, tout le 
tnonde pense et cherche un point d'ap- 
pui et de direction dans la vie. Cest 
passionnant et pathetique. Deux ques- 
tions dominent toutes les autres: 
d'abord (et toujours!) la question de 
I'organisation des inergies humaines, 
dibordantes dans tons les domaines. Et 
puis, plus encore peut-etre, Vangoisse 
de sauver la personnalite humaine au 
milieu des organisations dites "totali- 
taires" (communisme, fascisme). On ne 
pent pas ouvrir une revue sans trouver 
ces problemes mis en avant (ceux dont 
nous avons si souvent parte ensemble). 
A moi il parait de plus en plus evident 
que toute la solution depend de la 
reconnaissance du fait qu'il doit y 
avoir un terme personnel au monde. Si 
Von accepte Vhypothese (communiste 
oufasciste) d'une Humanite allant vers 
un achevement collectif-impersonnel, il 
est force que les personnalites indivi- 
duelles soient absorbees et detruites en 
chemin . . . Je continue a esperer que 
mon Essai sur le Front Humain 
passera: il vient encore de trouver une 
approbation enthousiaste d'un cote 
(dans mon Ordre) ou je ne m'y atten- 
dais pas. Entre temps, je continue a 

sure of threats and social aspirations, 
everybody thinks about, and looks for 
su pport and direction in life. It is fasci- 
nationg and pathetic at the same time. 
Two questions outweigh all the others: 
first (and always) the question of the 
organization of human energies over- 
flowing in all other fields. And also, 
perhaps even more, the anguish of sav- 
ing the human personality in the midst 
of the so-called "totalitarian" organiza- 
tions (communism, fascism). We can- 
not open a magazine in which these 
problems aren't brought up (the prob- 
lems you and I have discussed so 
often). It seems more and more evident 
to me that the very solution depends 
on the fact that we admit there must be 
a personal goal for the world. If we 
accept the hypothesis (communist or 
fascist) of a Humanity moving toward 
a collective-impersonal achievement, it 
is inevitable that the individual person- 
alities will be absorbed and destroyed 
on the way ... I continue hoping that 
my Essay on le Front Humain will 
pass: it has just found another enthusi- 
astic approval from a side (in my 
Order) where I did not expect it. In the 
meantime, I continue typing "The Phe- 
nomenon of Spirituality". 





taper "he Phenomene spirituel". 

My plans for June and July are still unsettled. I am not yet decided to go 
to Cambridge (where I should have to go before June 13th), and I am still waiting 
for an answer of Rome concerning Moskow. No doubt that this answer will be 
here very soon. After all, if they insist for my no£ going, I will not feel too much 
sorry for it. Very few people, finally, will be present at the Congress (no Italians, 
no Germans, a few British, very few French), and I wonder what are the excur- 
sions going to be in such conditions. If I do not go myself, I will spend quietly 
July in France (talking, writing) and come back quietly to China for September. 
After a few days (or in a fortnight) I plan to visit my brother in Auvergne, 
amongst the meadows and the old oaks, in his old family house. 

Yesterday, I had the good surprise to meet Dr. W. H. Wong at my door. He 
had just arrived in Paris, and his first visit was for me. I was very "touche". Pei 
was with him, beaming. Wong himself is always the same: marvelously kind, 
simple, and smiling. I wonder what is his inner philosophy. 

Max is much better now, and Simone not too much tired. Tomorrow (Sun- 
day) I plan to go with him (in the car of his friend Grady s) for a picknick in St. 

TEILHARD Germain. Everything is so richly green around Paris, just now. Yet, I would prefer 
& LUCILE to y e w ^ y 0U j n fa e Weston Hills. — Ida Treat was in Paris for a few days: but 
/ saw her only in the hospital, too shortly. 1 enclose here the letter she wrote me 
92 in America. (No, it is too big: so I send it to you under a separate envelopp). 

Good by, dearest; and thank you, always more, for the light, the strength, 

and the riches you are for me. 

Be happy, — and God bless you! 


June 9, 1937 

Dearest — 

Your precious letter of May 18 just came yesterday. I am so very sorry that you 
have been sick and trust that you were telling me the truth when you said the fever was 
over and that you were recuperating. I do hope it lias long since been finished and that it 
did not leave you in a weakened condition, but that you were able to go to Cambridge the 
end of May. I heard from the Richards that they were making great preparations to honor 
you there. But eventually you will tell me, and also I hope more of what happened in Lyon, 
lam desperately disappointed at the outcome. I did not realize until your letter came how 
much I hoped that something would happen so that you could face the world with a united 
front with your ideas. I just wrote you a long letter about it, but I shall not send it now — 
but I cannot help mentioning my great disappointment, and about Moscow too, I shall be 
simply SICK if you cannot go — all these thoughts I will try to hold in check until I hear 
more fully from you — but my heart has been heavy ever since your letter came. I will save 
this other letter and if after I hear again it seems good, will send it then. 

Last night I had dinner with Mme Raphael, just we two, which was so nice, we 
went to a cinema and then to the Peking hotel roof, which opened last night . . There was a 
great crowd and very gay, Raphael seemed quite satisfied. Tonight I am dining there with 
Tarnowski — he is still waiting for his money to get away . . Then there is a big dance at 
the American Embassy on Friday, with several cocktail parties in between. Having lunch 
tomorrow with George Merell, she left last week. Jacques gives a big cocktail on the 15th 
etc etc ..As to work? I have been drawing lately, with a model every morning . . nothing 
very exciting but it is such good discipline and I enjoy it too . . "The couple" is rather dis- 
appointing in plaster ...but most everything is!!!!! 

Dearest I wont try to write more now ..I do so hope you are well . . what caused 
the fever? and is it really completely gone? 

That you may be home earlier than you thought is too wonderful . . .but lam 
Still hoping that you will be able to go to Moscow. 

All my love, no not ALL, but all that is best — 

Oh Pierre I want so much — notfor me dearest, you must believe that —just as 
in the famous "honesty" letter — chastity was the very heart of what was in my mind — I 
answered as I did because I was waiting , but I was thinking of so much more than our per- 
sonal relations. 

I hope you have written again — I shall be so anxious about your health — and I 
want to know so much more too - but perhaps some of the things will have to wait to be 

Cod bless you dearest THEIR 

Lutile. J 932 " 41 

Pans, June 13th, 1937 


I answer here your two precious letters of May 18 and 26, which have 
brought me their ordinary supply of strength and joy. I feel so happy when I see 
that yog are happy, and expanding in your spiritual activity. It makes my own 
life brighter to hear about your thoughts, your work, and even your daily life. So 
glad that Mrs. Clubb is back, when so many others are leaving! 

So far I am concerned, things are not yet perfectly satisfactory (although 
distinctly better). Last week, I got another (much slighter) period of fever. I did 
not leave the house, and everything is OK again. But finally, all my plans of sum- 
met have been much upset. I had to cut several lectures. I could not go to Cam- 
bridge (and now it is too late for going there since Paterson is leaving for 
Greenland tomorrow . . .). And, with some disappointment, I have decided to can- 
cel my trip to Russia, the prospect of being even slightly sick in the middle of the 
Siberian excursion being positively uncomfortable. After all, what I am going to 
miss is perhaps not so much. Very few people seem to go to the Congress, so few 
that I wonder whether the Siberian excursion is not going to be suppressed at the 
last minute. At the same time, political conditions in Russia are apparently criti- 
cal just now. Well, in any case, 1 have to follow my own life, and to trust it in 
love, even if, this time, it leads me along an apparently less successful path. A 
spiritual "philosophy" would be fundamentally uncomplete which could not help 
us in facing the troublesome, as well as the pleasing, sides of life. My next plans 
are still a bit cloudy. Essentially, 1 will spend in Paris and in Auvergne a quiet 
period (nothing much to do, here, in July), and come back directly to China (via 
Siberia?) in August. I will let you know, as soon as I can. -Besides, don't worry 
for my health. The doctors could not find a single weak point in my constitution. 
Did I get some malaria (no positive indications of that have been recognised!) or 
some accidential intoxication? Probably I shall never know, and it does not mat- 

In fact, I feel quite alive, just now, even spiritually. And it may be that 
this small physical handicap will turn to have been more useful for my real well- 
fare than more satisfactory conditions under which I would have had lesser 
opportunities for thinking. By better realizing (in a personal and actual experi- 
ence) how much we are dependant on the divine harmonization of life, I felt as if 
my familiar views on the world grew deeper, and chiefly were passing a little 
more from the theoretical to the practical plan: which of course is the greatest 
trial for any theory! Crowning my growing convictions and "admiration" for 
Human Energy, I discover more clearly, just now, the tremendous value and 
"fonction" of the "Love of God" (well understood, of course) for building the 
human world} "Love of God", which has been chiefly studied so far as an individ- 
ual relation between Man and the Summit of the world, - but which has now to 
be understood as the highest and most universal form of spiritual activity. By 
this wonderful type of psychical energy, every single other form of activity is 


TEILHARD increased and overanimated; a natural agreement becomes possible between the 
&LUC1LE totalitarian tendencies of human society and the achievement of personality 
(love is the only strength which makes things one without destroying them); and 
$4 finally, a possibility is open for controlling (without diminishing) the fundamen- 
tal power of human love. A chapter on these considerations will surely be the end 
of my next Essay on Human Energy, unless it turns to be (in addition) the matter 
of a subsequent and special Essay. - In spite of my confinement, I could spread lot 
of my papers, during the last weeks, even inmost "la'ic" circles interested in Social 
Economy. Everybody is thinking ofTotalitarism and Personality, just now. I will 
send you very soon a copy of "he Phenomene spirituel". "Sauvons VHumanite" is 
much praised amongst my "confreres" here, and will probably be printed, with 
very slight modifications. 

Politically, Europe (and even France) is just a volcano. And in some way 
there is something excellent in this condition. Everybody is now awaken to the 
urgency and to the size of the human problems: and the necessity of finding a 
practical solution to the difficulties obliges the most conservative people to face 
a thorough recasting of the ancient conceptions of the world. Something is obvi- 
ously coming to birth. On the other hand, "impersonnal" totalitarisms (Commu- 
nism, Fascism . . .) prove to go to a failure. Positively, I do not see any natural 
escape but in the direction of a Personalistic Universe. My faith in a Neo-Chris- 
tianity is growing stronger every day. So, you see, I am not losing absolutely my 
time. A degree more of contact with the Center of things is more important than 
any progress in the knowledge of past Geology. 

Max is much better now, and Simone is every day more an angel: so gay, 
so strong and so pure. — Dr. Wong was here the last week. He gave me his first 
and his last visit: two hours before leaving, he came with Pei to see me in my bed 
(I had my second fit of fever). I have been extremely touche by this frank and kind 
friendship. In a lunch given aux Affaires Etrangeres in the honour of the Chinese 
delegation, I have seen Pelliot. Two days earlier I had also a lunch with the Hop- 
penots, extremely nice; Mme Hoppenot longs for Peking; and so does Plessen, they 
told me, in Colombo. Colonel Newham (spelling?) and wife (not the boy) are 
staying in Jacques house here, I heard. Met twice Mme Bonnet, still rather lost in 
her life. If I was more free, I could spend all my life with friends here. A pity to 
have cut so much, in life. 

And now good bye, dearest and precious; I will write you again very soon 
— perhaps from under the oaks in Auvergne. In the meantimes, may you be happy 
— and progress in your internal and external work. — Two days ago, a colleague 
of mine, here (a friend of Max, and very clever) told me that he had such an admi- 
ration for the profile of the bust you made of me! — J was so pleased! 



My best souvenirs, if you meet them, 
to Jacques and the Raphael's. 

Before leaving France, Teilhard returned briefly to his native Auvergne where he stayed at 

his brother's country house. He wrote to Lucile from there at the end of June and then THEIR 
again in July from Paris. 1932-41 


Murols (Puy-de-Dome), June 27th, 1937 95 


Maybe tomorrow I will receive a letter of you, forwarded from Paris. In 
the meantimes I wish to send you, in due times, my own /letter] number 16. Since 
three days, already, I am in my native Auvergne, amongst the deep green trees of 
the small estate belonging to my "holy" brother and to his so vivacious wife. I 
feel quite at home here — perfectly all right physically — and I enjoy thoroughly 
the silence, the quietness, and the simplicity of my country-life, with so congenial 
people. In this restful environment, I have the impression to "expand" internally; 
and I become more conscious of a kind of new light which has been dimming in 
myself in the course of the apparently somewhat disappointing weeks of this last 
staying in France. Never before, perhaps, did I perceive so clearly the possible 
meaning of the deep evolution of my internal life: the dark purple of the universal 
Matter, first passing for me into the gold of Spirit, -then into the white incandes- 
cence of Personality, - then finally (and this is the present stage) into the immate- 
rial (or rather super-material) ardour of Love. — And never before, too, did I 
realize in such a tangible way how much people, around me, are starving for the 
same light, which perhaps I can transmit to them. — For several reasons (includ- 
ing the simple fact that younger generations are gradually emerging over the 
older ones, — and also the marvelous and critical conditions of a world which is 
facing for the first time the real dimensions and risks of its destiny) I was never 
received before by my friends with such a frank sympathy, — and almost "expect- 
ancy". — Maybe something will come out, of the seeds which you help me to 
spread, some day, not too far ahead? — As I told you, in my last letters, I had to 
miss apparently a lot of opportunities, these past weeks: and yet, as a final result 
of this kind of failure, I feel myself more than ever. Is it that I needed to be some- 
what cut from Science and Past in order to perceive more distinctly the higher 
precincts of the coming Universe? Before long, I shall try tofocuss these things at 
your light. And I suppose you too will find me more and better myself. The sweet 
price of absence... — 

So far my external life is concerned, I plan to leave Paris, at the middle of 
August, — travelling via Siberia with a colleague of mine. — Now that I am 
physically OK., I feel appreciably the regret of missing the Moskow congress. But 
it is late now for changing my decision. And, in addition, one wonders which kind 
of congress the meeting is going to be. Is even the Siberian Excursion not subject 
to shortening or cancellation? . . . Nobody knows it, exactly. Anyhow, July and 
early August will be for me a period of rest — mostly in Paris — the right time, 
perhaps, for starting my next Essay on "VEnergie Humaine", which I feel almost 
ripe in my mind, already. 

Besides, not much to tell you about. An article by me on the Sinanthrope 
(essentially what I have expressed in Philadelphia) is going to come out in the 
next number of the Review "Les Etudes" (a rather conservative, but much read 
paper — edited by my colleagues in the place where I am staying in Paris). I was 



^*HH^ positively asked and congratulated for it; and I think that "Sauvons UUnivers* 
will follow, shortly, later. — Pei has successfully got his degree (Docteur de 
rUniversite de Paris) the day before I left Paris — and he was so proud and 
happy! — He too will be back to Peiping in September. — Max and Simone I 
left in good conditions (as good as possible, I mean). — Yesterday, a long letter 
from Ida (Andri had just left for a two month journey). Again she urges me: "I 
can't imagine you standing aloof, with a holier-than-thou feeling, while the 
world stews... ". But what can I do more than 1 do? Descend in the street? . . . 
The more I look around, the less I see any group which I would like to join. "In 
these days, only action counts n ; says Ida. Of course, I would bless and seize any 
opportunity for materializing mv faith. But living ideas are, finally, the blood 
of action (think only of Marx — and Christ). And just now I don *t see what I 
could do outside of promoting the birth of a new consciousness in the World. 
— Tell me what you think. — You would like, I know, to see my papers more 
openly defended and spread. — But they are spreading, I assure you, at an 
unexpected rate — and along the most efficient way: as a shot in the main 
arteries of the body. — Let us have patience, and faith. 

From a nice letter ofLt. Quintini, which has reached me yesterday, I 
send you herewith two amusing pictures (taken in Pao Ma Chang, the day 
before I left). — Keep them. You will give them me back in September if you 
like. (I wish to keep the face of Quintini). — Mrs. Walen is in Peiping. I wish 
you could see her. 

I am just now reading the last novel ofCh. Morgan "Sparkenbroke". 
Try to find it: a bit intricated, and the same lack (as in "Fountain ") of a clear 
interpretation of pantheistic aspirations and Love; — but a wonderful 
spiritualistic move through Matter. — You will like it, and find in it a lot to 
discuss. — Anyhow, I will bring you my copy. 

A vous, 

precious and dearest, 


Paris, July 24th, 1937 


I am somewhat late this time, and I have to answer two of your letters 
(June 24 and 24), each of them has been so precious and sweet and so "new" 
to me. I enjoy to see you so alive, so well surrounded by many friends, and at 
the same time so much the same interiorly. Funny and pleasant that we should 
have the same eyes, you and I!. 

The reason of my being a bit late with you is that, just on my return from 
Auvergne, a week ago (you have received my letter 1 6 from Murols, I suppose), 
I have got a third small attack of fever. More and more likely a kind of malaria, 
although the germs do not show. That brings a new trouble in my plans. I had 
practically decided to leave Paris via Siberia at the middle of August. Now, I 
feel that it would not be wise to risk another fever in Moskow or Manchouli. 
And I am inclined to book a comfortable first class cabin on somefrench mail, 
also in August. That would make me two or three weeks later in China . . . But 


what to do else? Do not worry. You did the best, by far, in deciding your THEIR 
American journey. Let us trust life. Life has brought us each to the other: f^^ 
it will make us always closer, provided we follow it steadily and lovingly. 
Of course, lama little anxious about the political conditions in Peiping 
just now, — and I am glad you are in Peitaho. Let us hope that once more 
the trouble will be settled humorously, in the Far-Eastern way. 

Not much to tell you, this time. I met very few people you know, 
lately, with the exception ofEllaMaillart /Dutch travelogue author/, who 
has suddenly decided, last week, to fly to Afghanistan and Persia: such a 
courageous girl, and not in a very strong health, this year. I scarcely know 
her; and yet she seems to hope something from me, and asked some of my 
papers. This evening I have dinner with Max, Simone and their 
"daughter" Betty (you have seen her) who is in Paris for a holidays trip. 
Lately, Simone has made a great printing work for me (including the 
"Phinomkne spirituel"). I had to spread a number of copies, specially in 
a new group: "Centre d y Etudes humaines", including amongst the 
members of the directing board Carrel and A. Huxley (I). As I told you in 
my last letter, my mind has perhaps never been so clear and so tense as 
during these last (somewhat disappointing) weeks. I really think that 
something is moving, inside and outside of myself, which drives me slowly 
towards the type of activity which you dream for me: after the study of the 
past Man, the discovery of the coming Man. If I come back by boat, that 
will be the right time to write "L 'Energie humaine". May be the following 
stip would be to try a first sketch of the famous book: "L' Homme". A 
friend and colleague of mine was just saying to me this morning that my 
Essays are each time approaching more the conditions for being 
"publiables". And yet I do not weaken my position, but I learn and I see 
how to say things in an unquestionable way. My article on Sinanthropus 
is out (a very popular one, but clear). I still hope for the Front Humain. 

So many thanks foryour translation ofChristology and Evolution. 
I am so much interested in it that I retouch it. I will send or bring you the 
corrected copy. 

Politically, we are going through hard times, in France, and still 
more financially. One must confess that the Front Populaire has not been 
sufficiently practical in its idealism. For instance, the "semaine de 40 
heures" turns to be extremely difficult in its application, which would 
require a better industrial equipment, and chiefly the will in the workmen 
to work better in a shorter time. Such transformation can hardly be tried 
by a country alone. Just as if a country alone decided to disarm. Anyhow, 
as I told you already, people are ten times more awake and eager to do 
something now in France than a few years ago. This is the brightest side 
of the present situation. So far as communism is concerned, it is surely 
still growing in the country. But I have some feeling that the Russian 
"mirage" is gradually fading. To save human personality turns to be a 
banal slogan, these days: everybody realizes that something has to be done 
in that line. 

And now, dearest, nothing much to add, but to tell you, once more, 
how strong and sweet it is for me to think that you are with me. To grow 
towards Light, each in the other, — and each by the other! This is the 
future in front of us, through space and time. — 

TEILHARD May this letter reach you without too much delay! — Be happy! 




If you happen to see the Raphaels, tell them my best regards. I never forget them, 
in spite of not writing them. 

I send you, by the same mail, the last letter of Ida. Just destroy it after 
reading. — 

De Terra plans to be in Burmah at the end of November next. — J hope I 
will be in good conditions, and in position to join him in December. 

Paris, July 25, 1937 


I hope that in spite of the political troubles you have received safely my 
last letters. As you understand easely, the new developments of the political situ- 
ation in Peiping have been somewhat worrying me, the past week. And in spite of 
the fact that I know what to take and what to drop in the newspapers reports 
concerning China, it was a kind of relief for me to think that you were at that 
time swimming at Peitaho. Now, it seems that the worst of the crisis is over. The 
whole quesitonfor me is to be sure that the Survey will not be scared by the new 
conditions to the point of reducing still more its basis in Ping Ma Ssu. I still hope 
that nothing will be changed in that line. 

Your two precious letters of June 30 and July 4 have reached me safely, 
and without any delay. As usually, they were full of light, strength and interest- 
ing news. And I was so glad specially to hear of the last successes in your work. 
You know that nothing makes me more happy than to feel that you are living 
fully by the best of yourself. And, so far I am concerned personnally, you know 
also how your deep sympathy and "encouragements" have a special power for 
driving me ahead along the path leading to the discovery of Spirit in the world. I 
am surprised not to have told you my pleasure and proud surprise in seeing the 
english edition of the Personalistic Universe. A few "fautes d' impressions" (but 
very easy to correct for the reader). Simone reproached me to have had my name 
printed on the booklet, and perhaps she is right. We shall see the next time. In the 
meantime I have finished the last retouches on your translation of Christology 
and Evolution: a few critical places are now much clearer, so that this english 
text is distinctly lighter and better than my original text. On account of the 
unsafe conditions of the mail just now, I will bring with me your manuscript, 
rather than to send it via Siberia. On the whole, as I have already told you, I have 
a distinct feeling and many objective proofs that the time is coming when I will 
be in good position for publishing more than in the past. And perhaps that was 
the best thing of me to have to mature my ideas in "private" essays before I could 
reach "la pleine possession" of what I want to say. I believe to see more and more 
distinctly what has to be my next paper on Human Energy and its highest form, 

And, slowly, days are passing, and I approach the end of my staying in 
France. Without being yet perfectly strong, I feel much better. And, if nothing hap- 

pens, I plan to leave Marseille on August 6, by s.s. D'Artagnan (Messageries Mar- THEIR 
itimes), in a comfortable first class cabin (alone). L Treat will be therefor seeing I932 " iI 
me off. She is still dreaming of the Far East I will naturally try to write "L'Ener- 
gie humaine" during the journey [about four weeks]. 99 

Nothing much to tell you about my life here. One by one, people are leav- 
ing Paris for the holidays, so that the town looks rather empty. Max, Simone and 
Betty have left yesterday, by car, for the Pyrenees. I am glad they are going to 
have a little rest: Simone is working too much (she even learns Russian!). Politi- 
cally, we are in a lull: but the financial side is just so dark. It seems that Commu- 
nism has lost its chance (people are distinctly "cooled" by the way things are 
turning in Spain and Russia); and even the workmen seem to resent the tyranny of 
the Unions (C.G.T.). My impressions is that, as a result of the short leadership of 
Blum with the Front Populaire, a deep impulse has been given in the country 
towards social changes; but that the Front Populaire has proved to be unable to 
materialize these changes. Curiously enough, a growing number of people are 
looking towards Christianity. A week ago, Cardinal Pacelli had a really "triom- 
phante" reception in the streets of Paris, and his picture is cheered in the movies. 
May Christianity understand that this sympathy does not mean any tendency of 
Man to go backwards to the old forms of life, but some desperate hope of a new 

Last Sunday, 1 have seen Good Earth [from the Pearl Buck story] in a 
movie of Us Champs Elysees. Not bad at all. The wife (O Lan) plays very well 
And I longed for China. 

And now, good bye, dearest. I will surely write you at least once more, 
before I leave Marseilles. — God bless you! — and be ha ppy ! 



Lucile was vacationing at Peitaho, a summer resort on the Gulf of Po Ha in northern China 
when the Japanese began their undeclared war in 1937 by invading southern China. Even- 
tually they reached Nanking (about 150 miles northwest of Shanghai) and in December 
captured it Meanwhile, Teilhard, en route from Marseille in August, became increasingly 
alarmed by the news from the south of China. He was particularly concerned for the safety 
of the P.U.M.C staff and for the work at the Cenozoic laboratory in Tientsin — about 80 
miles southeast of Peking. 

Marseilles, August 6, 1937 


Just a few lines, in order to make you sure that I am leaving today for 
Shanghai by the S.S. d'Artagnan (Messageries Maritimes). I wonder what 1 am 
going to find in China. Did you receive my last letter? — / have received your first 
letter from Peitaho. 

In any case, what is between us is bigger than any war and any change. 

Good bye, -eta bientSt. 

TEILHARD fP.SJ Yesterday 1 spent a good day with I. Treat 


Teilhard avoided Shanghai and the possibility of being trapped there because of the war by 
200 traveling instead via Kobe. From there he was able to make his way to Taku and then to 
Tientsin in northeast China. 

Kobe, A bord S.S. D'Artagnan Sept 10, 1937 


I wonder whether this letter will reach you, or at least reach you before 
my own arrival But I will try the chance, by a few lines. — 

So, 1 am really coming back — and already so close to you! To receive 
your letter of August 23 in Hong-Kong was an unexpected joy. Are you in Peiping 

Personnally, as you see, I am trying my way by Japan. In Shanghai, I was 
afraid to get trapped: we did not go further than Woosung, — the passengers to 
Shanghai being transferred in a battleship. The river was full of Japanese ships, 
and the bombing of the suburbs very distinct. — My hope is to find in Kobe a 
steamer to Taku, and to reach Tientsin in a week. Three people, on board, are try- 
ing the same way. — Useless to tell you that, as soon I am in Tientsin, 1 will do 
my best for reaching Peiping. Maybe I will find a letter of you aux Hautes-Etudes 
(Race Course Road). — By the way, did you receive the few lines I sent you from 
Marseilles, the day of my departure? 

On the whole, the journey was a bit hot — but pleasant Mme de Cham- 
peaux (do you remember her?) was on the boat, going to Saigon; and I made sev- 
eral new friends. I worked a little — and, in Woosung, I wrote the last line of a 
new Essay (UEnergie Humaine) — rather long: 75 pages. 

But now I am only anxious to reach China — and to find you. — No news 
from anywhere since I have left France. 

A tres bientot, j'espere 



Tientsin, Sept. 18th, Saturday, 1937 


This morning I tried, unsuccessfully, to send you a wire. I have arrived 
Tientsin yesterday night, via Kobe. No trouble at all. — Got your letters in Hong 
Kong, and here (letter of Sept 4). — / wrote you from Marseilles, and from Kobe 
(to Peita ho!). — I will go to Peiping next week, as soon as possible — no later 
than Wednesday — and right to you. 

A bientot 


In October 1937 Teilhard completed "Human Energy" (see Human Energy, Harcourt Brace 
Jovanovich: New York, 1969, pp. 113-62), in which he again considered the meaning of 
love: "Between man and woman a specific and mutual power of spiritual sensitization and 

fertilization is probably still slumbering. It demands to be released, so that it may flow irre- THEIR 
sistably towards the true and beautiful/' 1932-41 

Tlie Japanese presence was growing in Peking. War was threatening the whole of LETTERS 
Europe. In these last years as the foreign population diminished and the social life lost 
verve, Lucile and Teilhard saw each other more frequently. Both of them refer to this time 101 
as a deepening of their friendship. In early December Teilhard left for Burma. (He would 
not return to China until May 1938.) 

Tientsin, 7 December 1937 


Apparently, I am leaving today, afternoon! — But that still seems to me 
scarcely credible. Anyhow, I will write you on the way. —As I told you, you can 
send me letters: do Dr. de Terra, Thos. Cook & Son, Rangoon, Burma. — / still do 
not feel the thrill of departure. But it is so clear that I have to go, — that I find in 
this feeling the strength I need — as well as in your last smile. 

A bientot, dearest. 

My boat is the Hoihow (Butterfield s.s.) 

s.s. Hoihow (before Tsingtao), December 10, 1937 


So, finally, I have left Tientsin, on the 7— The departure was somewhat 
a hectic one. But I am glad not to have missed a single chance to meet de Terra 
before it should be too late; and, on the whole I feel happy to follow a positive 
track, instead of hanging in a mist of hesitations, as it was the case during the 
last weeks. I thank you again for having been, during that time, such a sweet 
comfort. Whatever might be the result of the present journey, I see clearly now 
that I had to undertake it. - 

As you know, embarking in Tangku is not a pleasure-party. First, the 
Moukden train (not crowded however, and not late). Then, the smaller train to 
the docks. Then the lighter [aflat bottomed river barge]: two hours on the muddy 
water, charged with blocks of ice. (But no wind, luckily!) — Finally, the Hoihow, 
a rather large boat, but with very few accomodations for passengers. Three 
"saloon-rooms", very modest, are occupied by unknown ladies. The place I got at 
the last minute is in ordinary "first-class", not bad at all, I must say. Only Chi- 
nese people. But in the case I was lucky too. I share my cabin with two Chinese 
doctors, educated abroad, — one of them being Dr. C. V Lee from the P.U.M.C., 
going to Hongkong! — Both are very cheerful, and talk mostly a very good 
english, the doctor number two being a Seattle man who speaks only cantonese, 
— whilst Dr. Lee speaks only pekinese. — So, everything is all right — and the 
food is good. — But, so far, we are rather snailing on the way: 24 hours in Chefoo, 
12 hours in Weihawei — taking cargo. I would never have believed that they were 
so many sacks, nor so many soja-beans in China. — At last, we have passed a 
few hours ago the land's-end of Shantung (a familiar landscape, where I was 
amused to spot the places I visited a year ago with Yang-Kieh) — and we are due 


TE11HARD tomorrow morning in Tsingtao, where I will post this letter. Hope that tomorrow, 
& LUCHE yy jjjk j jm ^ we sna n y e sa M n g f Swatow. 

Hours do not seem too long. Since I have decided to use this first part of 
102 tne journey (up to Hong Kong) for making my "retraite", a part of the day is spent 
in trials for seeing more clearly things in myself, and ahead. For this purpose I 
miss somewhat my notes and the familiar surroundings of Tientsin. And yet, to 
be practically alone on the sea, and bound for action, is a favorable atmosphere 
for perceiving the best of God. Many points seem to appear more simply and more 
distinctly in my mind. And, incidentally, I add, every day, a few touches more to 
my scheme about "L'Homme". — You, probably, do the same with the Lady and 
the Hound. - And so are we going, you and I, so close in spite of the growing dis- 
tance — 

I will miss, and much, your letters, for a long time. But your life, when I 
left, was sufficiently stable for making easy to me to imagine approximately 
what you do. - And I shall be so soon on my way back! — In the meantimes, dear- 
est, be happy! — I shall be always with you. 

My next letter will be from Hong Kong 


St. Lucia's Day - 1937 
Peking China - 

Dearest - 

You have been gone more than a week and I wonder where you are now. And so 
deeply hope that you have escaped the storms that put the S.S. Pres. Hoover on the rocks - 
It will be so good when 1 know that you are safely in Burma and have met up with de Terra 
- but I suppose it will be a long time before I can hear - 1 have such a feeling about this let- 
ter - as if I were going to send it off to the blue void!! 

Nothing much new since you left. I went over to see Grabau yesterday - Peggy 
Boyden - who has just returned - was there too — Then Pai came in — He seems happy 
now that he has gotten into the work — / went to the P.U.M.C. (wanted to ask Mr. Ho 
about getting some plaster - it is difficult now to get good plaster), and old Weidenreich 
told me, with much glee, all about how he had sent that telegram to Dr. Wong! He was 
much pleased with himself! Is busy writing another lecture - so the work of reconstruction 
is still postponed - But I do not mind for I am busy. 

Am casting the head ofRomola, which the sculptress from Harbin liked the best, 
or one of the best of my things - The figure is going well - up to now it has gone better than 
they usually go -and this morning I started another head - an American girl - Mrs. Grif- 
fith - quite nice - and completely different from Romola - So you see I am busy - 

Friday I went to a small cocktail at Cecil Lyon's and Saturday to one of Jacques - 
Today there is a big one at the British Officers mess - Tomorrow Peggy Boyden is coming 
for lunch and I've asked Jacques - etc etc - Nothing exciting, but all very nice and I like 
seeing people late in the afternoon - especially as I feel quite lost at 5 o'clock - It is just that 
time now and I'm having tea with Spotty and Tung HsU! 

S.S.Anhui,Dec.20,1937 THEIR 
Luciledear, LETTERS 

My last letter was from Tsingtao — and 1 did not write you from 
HongKong,for the simple reason that I did not stop there. When we arrived Swa- 203 
tow, I discovered another Butterfield steamer just about to leave for Singapore, 
direct, with a cargo of several hundred Chinese emigrants; and I jumped on this 
chance. And here I am, very comfortably in a good cabin, alone "white" passen- 
ger, with a staff of cheerful scotch officers who grumble a kind of hardly under- 
standable english. Very good crossing. It is pretty hot, already, and I wonder at 
my old fur-coat, hanging in a corner of my berth, as the witness of some strange 
age of the world. We are due in Singapore this night And tomorrow 1 shall know 
definitely at which date I can reach Rangoon — before January, I hope. That 
would be a pretty good time. I will wire de Terra, anyhow. Hope that he did not 
leave for the Thibetan border, so far — 

So, everything is all right, presently. Putting the things at the worst, I 
have enough friends and scientific interests in Singapore for spending there a few 
pleasant days. I will let you know what happens. A pity, only, that you should 
have to wait so long for this letter 2 — But you know that I did not forget you. 

Very litle to tell you about the two past weeks. I was sufficiently busy — 
making my "retraite" (!) — and thinking about Man, — for not minding the 
monotony of the days, and the emptiness of the sea. We had, by the way, almost a 
perfect weather, with the wind mostly from the rear. On the Hoihow, I enjoyed 
rather the company of Dr. C.V.Lee, whom 1 gradually spotted as a very familiar 
figure, and an old friend of Alice Woodland. He told me many things about her 
former husband — and also about VK.Ting, who was very close to him. — / dis- 
covered also that the two british ladies were more interesting than I first 
thought Mrs. Herbert (her husband is in the British Consular Service) and her 
young sister, Miss Romer. Did you hear of them? - Mrs. Herbert was apparently a 
good friend of Roy C. Andrews, when he came first in Peking. — Here, on the 
Anhui, there is nobody to talk with but the merry Scotchmen. One of them 
remembers me of Granger. The finest type is the first officer, Keyworth, one of the 
three who had this strong experience to be kidnapped, six months, by bandits, 
near Niuchuang, some two years ago (maybe you remember it in the papers). He 
has a radio, a good library (did you read "The gap in the curtain", by John 
Buchan, a very clever book?). He just took me down today inspecting the three 
decks occupied by the Chinese emigrants: a most picturesque accumulation of 
sleeping, opium-smoking, washing and eating people, with a good exposure of 
fresh-looking baby flesh. — 

As I told you, I have reflected a good deal, these days. — Essentially, I 
feel mentally alert, with a fundamental satisfaction to have taken the step which 
assures me that, whatever will result from this new experience, 1 have not failed 
de Terra, — nor my luck. In spite of my good reasons (and they were) I had the 
impression that I would lack courage or decision if I was staying in my Peking's 
slippers. I needed to prove to myself that 1 can keep young. And, at the same time, 
I experience more and more distinctly that the deep of my life is no more with ter- 

TEUUARD races, gravels, and fossil Man. The future of the World and Life drives me decid- 

&LUCILE e fly fo ft $e tf __ Burma attracts me chiefly as a step to that Let us wait 

hopefully for the developments. In any case, you can help me more and more, — 

204 and I hope so much to do the same with you: since the progress has to be from 

both sides, - not only you for me, but I for you, dearest. 

By the fact, "Man" did not make much progress. But I have the impres- 
sion that the whole thing begins to be better grasped in my mind. I just still lack 
the blaze which will illuminate the subject when the mass is sufficiently concen- 
trated. Just the final spark, you know: But that can make all the difference. 

I will write you very soon — as soon as I know something concerning my 
journey. — In the meantime, be happy. — 1 think of your Xmas parties. — Ta Tien 
Shui Ching is a sweet place to think of 



P.S.— Singapore 21. 

I am leaving day after tomorrow, due to Rangoon the 28! — / will read 
your Xmas letter in Penang. Yours P.T. 

During the fall when the two friends were in Peking, they had had a talk both 
regarded as important. In fact, Teilhard described it as one of their "coeur a coeur" talks. 
On leaving lower Burma he wrote reassuringly of his return, also explaining the reasons for 
starting out early on the trip. Teilhard, Helmut de Terra, Ralph von Koenigswald, and the 
other scientists in the Carnegie-sponsored expedition subsequently spent three months in 
Indo-China — making geological-archaeological finds that are fundamental to understand- 
ing the prehistory of man. 

Rangoon, Dec. 28, 1937 


I hope you have received my letter from Singapore. This one will tell you 
that 1 arrived today in Rangoon, by an unusually bad weather: wind and rain — 
a real calamity, people say, for the country, since the rice was just lying, cut, in 
the fields. However, the sky seems to improve ■— and, as a compensation, we 
enjoy a very cool air. — This morning, 1 found news from de Terra. He will be at 
Mandalay day after tomorrow. And myself, I am leaving this night for Mandalay, 
arriving tomorrow at noon. So, the meeting will be much more easy than I 
thought — and apparently I am here on time for the work: so that everything 
seems all right. Now I see more clearly how I have been right to leave Peking at 
once, three weeks ago: "Providence" has smoothed the way it had apparently 
chosen for me; and ygu are a most dear and tangible aspect of this Providence, 

From Singapore, the journey has been short and easy — on a very good 
boat — on which I discovered, the last day, that two american ladies, from Chi- 
cago (Miss Muller and Miss Buchanan — they did not know you) were, in 
November, in Peking, and had been shown Nelly by Mrs. Hempel!) — We spent 
Christmas in Penang — and there I opened your letter, which was such a joy for 

fne: a joy, Lucile, because I felt that what is borne between us is growing — and THEIR 
growing in such a way that nothing in the world can be a danger for its growth. I 1932 '^ 1 
feel sure that when I am back to you, in a few weeks, we will discover that we are 
still closer to each other than we thought when I left. — / was glad too, Lucile, to 205 
talk with you, the day you mean. And you must be sure that I will always bless 
the opportunities for those "coeur a coeur" talks. Have a happy new year, dearest. 
It will not be a long time now, before I see you again. You will tell me, in your 
next letter, what you think — and what you did achieve in your dear little studio. 
— It is so easy for me to see all these things — when I close my eyes. 

Since Singapore, I did not work much (I felt to close to the end of the 
journey) — and I read novels, or even detective stories. Yet, I have tentatively 
modified the fundamental plan of my Essay sur VHomme. I found some way for 
dividing the subject in a more "thrilling way. That I will explain you, if it 
works. But, during the next weeks, I will probably have very little time to spare 
for anything which is not a gravel, or a fissure. I think that this change will be 
most useful for my mind, and that the things will slowly mature in the meantime. 

I forgot to tell you that the two days spent in Singapore were very pleas- 
ant. I have a good friend there, young Dr. Collings, of the Raffles Museum. We had 
a pleasant dinner in his bungalow, amongst the dark trees and the flowers; — and 
a most interesting talk went on, up to 11 p.m., on the meaning of Life and God. 
This was completely unexpected! In Singapore too I met a well known archaeolo- 
gist, Dutch Dr. Stein-Callenfels, surely one of the biggest men and of the strongest 
beet 'drinkers presently alive. I should like to see him meeting Dr. Grabau: They 
would both sympathize immediately. — Stein-Callenfels explained me that he 
does not smoke but Manilla-cigarettes - so that he had to prepare a convenient 
supply of them for his next 6 months tour in Europe: 25 thousands, only! — He is 
surely a grand man! — And such a beard! You would make a fine bust of him! — 

I will write you before long, after I have met de Terra, and started the 
work on the field. — God bless you, dearest! 



January 5, 1938 

Dearest, - 

Your precious letter from Singapore came last evening, which was remarkably 
good time —just 14 days!! And it was simply splendid how Quickly you got through..! am 
sure that is a good sign that your luck is holding out and that you are going to have a very 
successful trip. By this time you are probably already off in the wilds. And how delighted 
de Terra must have been to see you. Your trip did not sound bad at all and I only hope that 
the trip back will be as quick. And dear DON'T hurry any of it on account ofmc.not that 
you are apt to, but still, I know you do think of me; and so for the Survey, well it will get 
along alright, and now that you are there it is more important that you should finish 
things there than that you should be here a few days or weeks sooner or later. You had to 
wait for Pai, so if he should have to wait a bit for you... well . naturally I am hoping that 

TEILHARD your work will be finished, but don't leave there until you are ready, on account of things 


Life generally is very quiet and orderly, I have not seen much of your people but 
106 New Year's day I went out to see Grabau. He said that he was the only one that was doing 
any work; Pai a little, but the people in the South, except those in the field, are doing abso- 
lutely nothing . . Since they have taken Nanking, the Japs are rather quiet, but no one 
knows when or where things will start next, so naturally they can't settle down to any 
sort of work. I havent done too much these last two weeks with all the parties and gaiety. 
Tomorrow night is the big charity ball, which seems to finish the big events. [Tho I just got 
an invitation for a Cocktail at the Raphaels on the 10th.] The 9th is Grabau's birthday and 
several of us are having a cocktail party at his house. Weidenriches, Fortyns Hoepplie, etc. 
and then Peggy Boy den, the Kullgrens and I will stay on for dinner, all of which we will 
take; so it ought to be fairly gay for him. He looks well as usual. 

Saw McDonald Sunday. He had just returned from Shanghai. He was on that 
U.S. gunboat when she was sunk, had pretty dreadful experiences, but seems to have been 
somewhat of a hero and really it has done wonders for Mac, he has so much assurance 
when he becomes a father soon, goodness knows what he will do!! Bosshard is also back, 
but did not have such exciting experiences. Lichnowsky came and had lunch with me yes- 
terday, I always enjoy talking to her, she expects to leave in a few weeks. I must see her 
again, in talking of some one she said "He is a Jew" with such contempt!! I must get that 
sort of idea out of her head before she gets to Germany — on the whole she is very fair, is 
mostly interested just now in modern questions from the woman's standpoint. Which is 
natural, because all her countrymen keep telling her the only place for a woman is to be 
married and have children. And as she says they are the very men who want the freedom of 
bachelorhood for themselves. If Western man were forced to get married at an early age as 
the Chinese are they would have some ground to talk from. She is really worried as to what 
she will be able to do in Germany and the place of women there. I insisted that although 
things may have a temporary standstill, they can't go backwards, which seemed to give her 
some comfort . . Was that correct, Maitre? 

Dearest, your letter made me so very happy and proud when you say that I can 
help you more and more!! But you also say you hope you can do as much for me.Jt always 
seems to me so evident how much you give to me that it never occurs to me there could be 
any question about it . . Dear, just because I sometimes want the whole moon and cry 
because I cannot have it . . don't ever have any doubts about it, you help me so much and 
have made life so rich and full . . and with things, or ideas, that can never, never leave me. 
You must know this and the fact that after your "retraite" and contemplation you still feel 
that you want and need my help, that is enough, I pray and work to have more and more to 
give to you. (Yes, and to give Him) but that seems so necessarily to follow the other, that 
one does not need to sag it. Yes I feel that your interest is more and more towards Man and 
the future and I wonder what you mean exactly, when you say that was one reason that 
Burma attracted you . . any how, dearest, whatever it is you want from Burma, I hope with 
all my heart you will get, I suppose it isn't exactly Burma but somehow the whole thing . . 
well you will be telling me about it before too long . . Pierre, to know that you are is a 
grand thought . . and that you will be coming back to me soon!! oh dear, you do make life 
very rich and full and happy. 

In spite of parties etc. the Lady and the Hound are progressing. Also another por- THEIR 
trait of an American woman which I started a short time ago. Perhaps that final spark for 1932 ' 41 
"Man" will come after you have finished that work down there, or maybe before. One LErrERi 
never knows when it is going to hit. ^ 

I think this is the fourth!! letter I have sent to Burma, the last was Xmas eve — 
have not written since as I kept thinking everyday there would be a letter from you, but it 
was grand that you did not have to go to Hongkong . . your old fur coat must look out of 
place ..It is cold and a North wind today, so I am glad to think of you there in the warm 
sunshine, but take care . . Good bye for today, 

Irrawady Valley, January 6, 1938 

Lucile dear, 

I write you from a small steamer, along the Irrawady. Blue sky, cool air. 
And the dark green jungle on both side, - creeping, eastward on the high shoulders 
of the Shan plateau, the end of China. De Terra and his wife, and our several boys 
are on board. We are going down to Mandalay, after a stage in Mogok the famous 
"rubis [rubies] district", high upon the Shan plateau; and, tomorrow, we start for 
the Arakan Yoma, the mountains west of the Irrawady valley. So, you see, things 
have been progressing well since my letter 3, from Rangoon. — In short, a wire 
from de Terra asked me to join him, not in Mandalay, but further on, in Mogok, 
after a stage in Mogok, which was easily managed. I was in our camp on Decem- 
ber 31. And I have immediately started in an interesting work. 

So far, nothing "sensational" has been found. But we have already 
reached a number of substantial conclusions, supporting exactly the views which 
I had in mind when planning this Burma expedition. I think it is a positive bless- 
ing of God that I have been allowed to leave Peking. I have come here still in 
time. And de Terra wanted me badly for helping him in his work. Conditions, 
here, cannot be properly understood unless you know China. And, in addition, Dr. 
"Movius", who has been selected by Harvard as an associate for de Terra, is a 
pure archaeologist, practically hopeless in the type of researches we are doing in 
this country (by the way, I did not see so far Movius, who is trying his chances 
presently somewhere in the south-east). — So, everything sounds well, and I feel 
fine (excuse the handwriting: the boat is vibrating frightfully). 

Mogok is a most interesting place: high mountains, covered with a thick 
jungle, swarming of monkeys, deer, jungle fowl, civet cats, — with tigers, also, 
elephants and rhino, which, of course, I did not see. The days were warm, — but it 
was just freezing during the night under the tent, and we had to get padded blan- 
kets and even water-bottles! Mrs. de Terra manages the domestic side of the expe- 
dition in a most efficient way; and we are all very gay. — As I have told you — 
Mogok is a famous center for rubies and saphires, which are mined everywhere in 
this district, — under the careful supervision of very elegant burmese ladies, who 
use to come to the places, under their enormously broad hats and always 
attended by a "suivante", whilst the husband stays home and smokes his cigars 
(everybody here seems to have constantly a big cylindrical cigar in his mouth). — 

TEILHARD By the way, I bring you back a ruby, if it not of the best deep colour, at least it is 

& LUCHE certainly genuine. — 

So far I have seen, the country in Upper Burma, is mostly jungle. — And 

108 everywhere an incredible number of monasteries with yellow monks, who live as 

perfect parasites on the country: somewhat as the mongolian lamas. In Manda- 

lay the palace is rather pleasant, but it looks as a ridiculous reduction of the 

Peking's palace: rectangular too, with broad moats, and miniature-towers at 

each angles. 

Maybe I will soon receive a letter from you. I am anxious to know that 
everything is all right, to you. Tell me everything about the detail of your life, — 
and about your work. 

I will very soon send you more news. 

Yours, dearest 


P.S. — Coming to Mandalay, I find your first letter, so full of good things! — 
Thanks! — Yes I had plenty of over-thought for the day of St. Lucia. — I am so 
sorry for the Laroux! —Received also a letter from my cousin in Paris (23 Dec): 
she tells me that Simone Begouen has just had to undergo an operation. I am anx- 
ious to have more explicite news. — I write to Max. 

We are leaving this evening for "Minbu", along the Irrawady. 

Magwe (Burma), Jan. 23, 1938 

Lucile dear, 

My last letter was from Mandalay, down from Mogok. - Today I write 
you in a most charming place. Since a week, our camp is pitched in a grove of old 
mimosas, next to a gold and white pagoda, on the very shore of the Irrawaddy. 
Opposite to us, westward, the skyline is formed by the jungly Arakan Yoma (the 
range running between the Irrawaddy and the golfe ofBengale). If you add that 
the days are not yet very hot, the nights cool, the sky of a pekinese blue, and the 
mosquitoes absent (but not the white ants, which have started several nigjht- 
attacks), you will conclude that my expedition has much to do with a pleasure 
trip. And this is true. I am thoroughly enjoying this new period of field-life — and 
I feel curiously strong and younger — somewhat like in India two years ago. 
Really, even as far I am physically concerned, it seems that the Burma business is 
something like a blessing of God. And I thank you too. 

Scientifically, our progresses are satisfactory. After almost giving up the 
hope of good results in archeology, it seems that we have finally hit a good "old 
Paleolithic" stuff in the Irrawaddy gravels — something approaching the old 
implements of India and Java. If true (as I seriously believe) this find would 
greatly substantialize our stratigraphic results. — We are presently at two days 
by boat south of Mandalay. Tomorrow, we shall move a day northward — and 
work there a week or two. — By that time, the heat will probably have increased. 

So we plan to come back on the Shan Plateau, for sometime. The end would be a THEIR 
short exploration in the Mitkyina area, the northernmost part of the Irrawaddy 1932 ~ 41 
basin. — If completed, this programm would keep me here up to the end of 
March(l), and I wonder whether Weidenreich is not going to object But, unless igg 
something very serious requires my presence in Peking, I feel that it should be 
unwise for me to cut my work and my chance here. The success of the work 
depends on my collaboration much more than I realized — which means, inciden- 
tally a much closer connection between me and the american institutions (Carn- 
egie Institution and Harvard). I like more and more de Terra. But I have very often 
to cheery him up, and I had my time in smoothing the situation between him and 
his collaborator, archaeologist Movius (and wife) — a delightful young man, but 
rather unfit for a pioneer-work. Everything is O.K. now, since the discovery of the 
old implements. — As you can easily think, the only thing which worries me, if I 
stay longer, is to be longer away from Ta Tien Shui Ching. But I am so sure that 
you understand, and that, if I could talk with you, you would approve me. 

I expect very soon a letter from you — and also from Max. Nothing from 
Paris since I left Mandalay. But, the airmail is so fast, with Europe: 7-10 days 
only! — Something will arrive before long no doubt. As far as I can guess from 
the papers, situation is awful on the Yangtze. Poor China! — and what will be 
left of the Geological Survey? It seems that we are witnessing a complete recast- 
ing of the far-East. — And what about Bosshart? We speak very often of him 
with de Terra. 

Be happy, dearest. — / like so much to think of you. — God bless you, a 
hundred times! 



I bring you a ruby from Mogok. Did I tell you? 

Chunk (Burma), Feb. 13, 1938 

Lucile dear, 

I have received yesterday your letter ofjan.16, and a week ago the one of 
Jan.5 (the letter ofXmas did not arrive!) I hope that my letter did reach you, in 
spite of the fact that the mail, in Burma, is simply helpless! Those two letters of 
yours were simply precious to me, bringing me, as usually, so much of light, 
strength, and sweetness. — But what did you discover, in re-reading me, which 
might have given you the feeling that I was, even slightly, "discouraged" with 
you! — I cannot remember writing anything like that. And that would be so far 
from what I ever felt, dearest. Never, on the contrary, since this last fall, did I so 
much realize how much we are, for each other, a mutual and everlasting comfort. 
— In your letter of Jan.5 1 was so happy to read that you would approve me if I 
tried to get the utmost from the present expedition. What I wrote you in my letter 
5 is still the most probable plan: that I should go to Java with de Terra at the end 
of March, postponing my return to Peking up to the end of April. A joint meeting 
in Java with de Terra & Koenigswald may have some important result for my 
personal "carriere". I wrote to the PUMC. asking a wire if they feel that I must 

TEIUiAKD come back earlier. Not a single word from Weidenreich since I left. I suspect that 

& LUCILE a nutn \ >er t Utters were lost, either from China, either from Europe. No answer 

from Max, so far. From a letter of my cousin, 1 caught vaguely that Simone is bet- 

HQ ter but still pretty weak. — Nothing on that in a short letter ofBreuil (Jan. 18) 

received yesterday (he had received your letter). — Nothing from my Order, either. 

Mail is pretty discouraging, here. — I wrote, three weeks ago, to Jacques and to 

the Raphaels: glad for them, sorry for you and me, that they have left, and 

Eleanor too. Where are the Lyon's going to? — By the way, I heard from my 

cousin that my article of October (mutilated as it was) has apparently been 

appreciated: the number of the review was exhausted before January. 

Here, everything develops all right. Since we left our pretty Magwe camp, 
we went first to Pagan, the most picturesque burmese site of Burma — then to the 
jungle along the Arakan Yoma — then back to Pagan. Now we are camping near 
an oil-field, still along the Irrawaddy. Our work in the low lands is almost fin- 
ished, and we have now a beautiful and rich old Palaeolithic industry from the 
Irrawaddy grounds — which probably should have been overlooked if I had not 
strongly taken the side of de Terra against the discouraged archaeologist Dr. 
Movius who had already sent to Harvard a cable announcing the failure of his 
researches. Now, Movius is beaming and collects perfectly. So, you see, I had to 
come and to stay. — In a week, we leave for the Shan Plateau. - Weather is still 
almost cool here; and I feel perfectly strong. Also, I like this country where the 
simplest man or woman in the fields is just so bright as a flower. - 1 forgot to tell 
you about Pagan, the old capital of the burmese kings. The place, now is nothing 
more than a native village buried amongst the palms; but the country is covered 
with hundreds of old pagodas, several of them as old as 1200 A.C.* Nothing very 
artistic nor very great about them (everything was built with bricks): but the 
whole thing, chiefly at sunset, has something irreal and fantastic. You would like 
the sight '-and the life here, too. — 

/ am so interested by everything you tell me about your life and your 
work. — Nothing can make me more happy than to realize that you live more by 
me, as I by you. 

I will write you from the Shan Plateau. 

Deeply yours, dearest 
1 realize that this letter is terribly hasty. — But I have a complete mail to write 

•Usually B.C. in standard American English. 

Lucile sent him a picture of herself and her dogs — probably in February. Teilhard 
responded enthusiastically to it and to her plan to go to the States later in the year. He spec- 
ulated on the possibility of their meeting there. 

Lashio (Burma), March 7, 1938 THEIR 

Lucile dear, LETTERS 

Since my last letter, I have well received your precious news, and the 
lovely picture of you and the two dogs, which I enjoyed so much. — To look at it HI 
makes me a little sick to be soon back to Ta Tien Shui Ching. The next month we 
shall meet again! Your plan for the summer in California looks very wise and 
promising. We shall have a long time together, before, in old Peking. - And maybe, 
also, I will pay you a visit in your American resort: if! have to go to France next 
fall, I think seriously that, for several reasons, I should have to take the Pacific 
way. Would not it be wonderful?! 

Since I wrote you, the work has been going on in a satisfactory way. 
Many more implements collected along the Irrawaddy. But now, after a few days 
spent near a very majestic volcano in the plain (Mt. Popa) we have migrated to 
the Shan Plateau — Very cool weather, and such a magnificent scenery: huge 
green forest, on which spring spreads creamy and pinky touches, and eventually 
flame-coloured patches. Two days ago, we motored along a precipitous road to 
the deep valley where the Salween river runs parallely with the Mekong. A few 
miles further were the first slopes of the Yunnan. Chinese everywhere on the 
tracks, with their blue dresses and their mules, just as in Peking! — You would 
enjoy to observe the people of the hills, here: black-turbaned Shans, — Kachins 
women, in broad "decollete", with a coloured kilt, — wild Wans, almost naked fa 
tribe of headhunters], and just so shy as jungle animals: a complete ethnological 
collection. The country is so densely forested, or so much covered with red clays 
that geology is not easy. Yet, we get a good number of interesting facts. Presently, 
we are camped at Lashio, the head of the main road to China [800 miles long to 
Kunming; later called the Burma RoadJ. / have been surprised to hear from the 
British official that Peter Fleming had just passed (with his wife) going to the 
Yangtze, and also Mr. Gage (!) coming from Hankow. I should have liked to meet 
him here. All that makes me closer to you, it seems. 

I have received several letters: one from Weidenreich, before his depar- 
ture, — one from Breuil, — one from Max. Simone is better now, but still lying in 
her bed, at home. Max was rather enthusiastic concerning the spiritual develop- 
ments of his Company (I will show you the letter); but he tells me that my Essay 
"UEnergie Humaine" has been regarded by my colleagues as "impubliable"! I was 
really surprised (but not really disapointed) — and I have written today a rather 
strong statement to my best and most influential friend and colleague in Paris (F. 
d'Ouince), in which I tell him that the critized paper being of a scientific, not a 
religious, turn, I did not recognize the right to anybody to interfere with its publi- 
cation. We shall see. — On the other hand, it seems that my short (and somewhat 
truncated) article of October has met with a sufficient success. — Did you see the 
last book of A. Huxley; "Ends and Means". Insufficiently constructed, but stimu- 

My plans keep the same. We leave Rangoon on next 24. At that time, if 
nothing has come from Peking urging me to hurry back, I will travel via Java — 
an important trip for me, as I told you. Then, straight to Peking. The next month, 
as I told you, we shall be together again. 

TEILHARD In the meantime, dearest, I hope that everything is all right for you. When 

& LUCllE i am fr ac v ana * wnen we sna n folk t so matt y things accumulated in our mind 


and in our heart during these months of separation, I am sure you will forgive me 

HI completely for having been away so long. — I hope you will find me "grown up", 

for you. 



After March 24, address: do Thos. Cook, Batavia 

After making no Journal entry for two years, Lucile wrote a brief summary of the evolution 
of her friendship with Teilhard. 

Meanwhile, throughout 1936 and 1937, he had kept her informed of his fieldwork 
in Chou-Kou-Tien, Java, and Burma. Often he also "talked over" his evolving ideas on the 
philosophical and mystical significance of matter. 

[Journal! Marc/i 12, 1938, Peking 

So much has happened since tliat last writing — and yet between P and me — so 
little — I mean so little change — just everything deeper and stronger and surer — I 
remember how that misunderstanding — the greatest we have ever had — was cleared up 
and brought us closer together than ever — we had a whole marvelous year together — 
most of '36 — with much talk and work and a constant growing in depth and breadth — 
— Then in Feb 22, 1937 he went to America and France — J know I had hoped there 
might be some definite break with his order — but it did not come — in fact I had subcon- 
sciously counted on it more than I realized and it was almost hard to realize and accept 
things as they were — that we were more and closer to each other I am sure — but how to 
live and express this love is still a problem that sometimes brought up difficulties — I sup- 
pose it always will —our whole lives have been so very different. 

Penang, March 27, 1938 

Lucile dear, 

We have left Rangoon two days ago, and we pass Penang tomorrow. Per- 
fect sky and sea. I enjoy the feeling to be on my way back. For, in spite of the 
branch trip to Java, I am really on the way back . And, in fact, now that the real 
work is over, I am positively in a hurry to see again the walls of Peking. Very 
soon, dearest, I will be there; and it seems to me that, after these months, I can 
bring you something better and new — as well as I know that something still bet- 
ter will be given me by you. — Your last letter (Feb. 26) was so clear, so coura- 
geous, and so sweet. I got it in Rangoon the eve of the departure. And I enjoyed 
greatly the new face of Nelly — but still more the studio with the living Buddha 
(not the living Buddha, of course, — although he will be a good addition to your 
exposition). So many things you will show me. And so many things we will have 
to say. — 

The last two weeks in Burma have been interesting and useful, — entirely THEIR 

spent on the Shan Plateau, amongst the trees, the flowers, and the strange people 
which I described you in my last letter. Our last stay was in the Ruby Igem] dis- 
trict ofMogok, the very place where I had met de Terra at the end of December. n$ 
The country looked just so attractive — but a little funny: some trees are getting 
their news leaves and blossom, as for the regular spring; — and a larger number 
were loosing their leaves, on account of the dry season, just as in autumn. I think 
that I felt a positive kind of regret, when leaving these places which I had, for 
several months, regarded as "mine". But, so attractive as it may be, Burma is not 
much more than a National Park in Asia. In spite of all its deep charms, this last 
expedition has brought me the final evidence that the interest of my life is no 
longer in past rocks, but in modern world. This is the sea on which you must help 
me to sail, henceforth, more and more. 

Practically no news, neither from Europe, nor from Tientsin: nothing from 
the P.U.M.C., nor from Pei, nor from Trassaert Everything I know, concerning 
this side of the world, I got by you, — which, at some extent, is the most precious 
way. — As I told you, I believe, in my last letter, I have written to my friend 
d'Ouince in Paris, insisting for a publication ofVEnergie Humaine, which I hold 
as a purely scientific paper. In any case, I am decided to write "L'Homme", which, 
I believe, I see now more distinctly. We shall talk of that. — You would have 
enjoyed the way in which I have been "sermonne" by Rhoda de Terra: exactly as 
by you! I am sure you would like to see her in America. — Received a letter from 
Mme Raphael: she seems to enjoy Dalat and Saigon. 

A bientot, dearest I will write you from Singapore or Batavia, as soon as 
I have fixed the boat which will bring me to Tientsin — via Kobe, I suppose. 



Singapore, April 20. 1938 

Lucile dear, 

Hope this letter will arrive to Peking before me! - These few lines to let 
you know that I am leaving today Singapore by S.S. Felix-Roussel (French Line), 
due to Shanghai on the 29. 1 was told here that there is no difficulty for getting 
there another steamer to Tientsin. — In any case, you know that I will not loose 
any possiblity for gaining a single day, in order to meet you earlier!. So sweet to 
go, now, straight toward you! - 

Useless to tell you, in this letter, details on my journey which I will very 
soon talk with you. On the whole, the trip to Java was extremely interesting, — 
and I regretted somewhat to leave the party before the end: but I could not delay 
longer my return to China. I wonder what they are thinking, Pei and the other 
ones, in the P.U.M.C.! — Coming here, day before yesterday, I found that Collings, 
my friend of Malaya, has just made an important discovery, linking the finds of 
Burma and Java — just what I was hoping when we decided the expedition. All 
right! — On another hand, I received in Batavia two letters from Paris, rather 
comforting, so far the progress of "our ideas" is concerned. I will tell you. 


TEllHARD A bientdt, dearest I know that, when we meet, we shall feel still closer. 

& LUCILE __ j i ove y 0U so mucn 




If this letter reaches you, let Mrs. Hempel [secretary at the P.U.M.C.] know that I 
am on my way hack. 

T.S.S. "Patroclus", May 2, 1938 


Hope you have well received my air-mail letter from Singapore. - These 
few lines, which I send you by MacDonald are to tell you that I am really arriv- 
ing . — We are due tomorrow morning to Taku. — I will probably stay two days 
in Tientsin. Before the end of the week (probably Friday) I shall, at last!, be back 
to your dear little home. — Such a joy, Lucilel And such a lot to hear and to tell! I 
am so glad not to miss your birthday. — 

The journey back was quite easy; - and it was such a luck that I found the 
Patroclus. I did not wait more than half a day in Shanghai. — On thefrench mail 
[boat], between Hong Kong and Shanghai, I met Nagiar (thefrench ambassador) 
and Dr. Andersson. And, on the Patroclus, I travel with Mac and his secretary 
(formerly secretary of Jameson). — In Saigon, I have seen the de Champeaux and 
Mme Raphael. — Peking everywhere. 

If you can, would you let Mrs. Hempel know of my arrival? Thanks. 

A tres bientdt 


In June Teilhard had begun writing l'Homme, later entitled Le Phinomene Humain. In the 
middle of August Lucile left Peking to visit friends and relatives in the United States and to 
exhibit her recent works — particularly the sculptures she had done in China. 

Peking, Aug 15/38 

Precious Lucile, 

When you read these lines, Peking will be already behind you; — but 
once more, we must regard forward, not only to the next meeting (so soon!) in 
New-York, but to the increase, under any conditions, of our marvelous friendship, 
I told you that, already, several times, - and several times, too, we have experi- 
enced it: momentary separations (although unpleasant they are) area useful part 
in the process of what is growing between us. You have to be more yourself — and 
I also — in order to bring a new supply to the common growth. Now, it seems evi- 
dent that the next ten months are, for both of us, a "providential" opportunity to 
become richer. Let this feeling of hope and conquest overcome, in our heart, the 
impression (false, in a true respect) that, up to the next spring, our boats are drift- 
ing apart. Fundamentally, we shall be just so close as in Peking — since we will 
discover the same world together. 





From Lucile Swan's 1938 exhibition: "Mother and Child" and "Chinese Wrestlers/ 

TEILHARD This year, Lucile, you gave me still more, if possible, than the preceding 

& LUCILE y ears —fifst because we were, by the depth of our lives, still closer — and sec- 
0ffd/y, a/so, because, as I become "less young", I feel deeper the need of a full corn- 
US prehension and support. To begin is much more easy than to achieve. Keep this 
point very strong in your mind and your heart: You can and you must help me to 
go on straight ahead, by giving me light and warmth. Keep me alive on Earth, 
whilst I try to bring you closer to God. This seems to me to be the meaning and 
the definition of our mutual union. Make me more myself, as I dream to make you 
reaching the best of yourself Along this road, there is no danger to get tired, nor 
to find an end. — And thank you, so much, for forgetting as you do, for me, what 
you might, naturally, expect, but what, for higher reasons, I cannot give you. I 
love you so much the more for this "renoncement". And there is nothing I will not 
do for you, in order to repay you. 

I am glad to think that you are travelling with good friends — and also 
that you leave first. I should hate to leave you behind, in China. Don't worry for 
me. I will try not to feel too sad at 5 p.m. Besides, these last weeks will be busy, 
and partly spent, probably, in Tientsin. — Anyhow, I don't think I will risk 

myself to the Tai Miao 

Yours more than ever! 

God bless you! 



— Victoria (Canada), Empress of Japan, October 6. 

— do Dr. W. Granger, American Museum of Natural History, 
Central Park West (N.Y.) and: Campion House, 329. West 108 str. 

Peking, Aug. 29th, '38 


Excuse me to use this awful paper. I write you on the corner of a table, at 
the Raphael's, so that you should have surely, for your arrival in New-York, my 
answer to your first three letters (the one from Kobe reached me this morning). I 
was so happy to have these news on your journey — and so happy, specially, 
that, in spite of the growing distance, you should still feel the substance of what 
has grown between us. Yes, spirit (the true one, so different of "abstraction") is 
the most consistant of things, - if only we try to build on it. — As you say, there 
will always be a lot of things to debate between us: but the great things is that 
we should find a way which works. 

Since you left, I have been rather busy. First, I made this famous 
"retreat", which is over since yesterday. Finally, being in Shih-hu hutung [the 
Jesuit residence on Rue Chabanel in the North City] was not too bad; - and I 
hope to have a bit better focussed the aim of my life. In fact, I have the feeling 
that my life has to be more and more devoted to the discovery (for me and the 
others) of the wonderful association of Universality and Personality which is the 
God we need for being thoroughly human. And I think that for this work ofdis- 

covery we are associated, Lucile. — Did you notice, at the end of "My way of THEIR 
Faith", the analysis Miss Petre gives of her friendship (and more — ) with Tyrrel. I m2 ~ 41 
thought a lot of you, when reading it Conditions are so closely similar, in a way. 

— Well, I am now ready to start for the new trial and conquest (?) of Paris, in a hj 
few months. But we shall meet before! 

Physically, I feel all right Blanc*, however, goes on giving me the full 
series of shot: not tiring at all, because he has found for it a special method, sup- 
pressing the depressing influence ofemetime. Each time I meet him, we have long 
talks on a lot ofsujets (medical, social, religious — ). I appreciate him more and 
more, and I forget completely his charming accent de Marseille. 

In fact, due to the retreat, I have seen extremely few people, since your 
departure, except the Raphael's where I took several lunches when I could not 
come back to the North City. They are leaving at the end of the month, by their 
danish boat. — Today, I go to Tientsin for two days. I will come back with Tras- 
saert and Leroy. So far, no decision from France concerning Trassaert: I still hope. 
— I did not yet find the time (nor the heart.) to enter Ta lien Shui Ching, so that I 
can give you no news of the Drummond's, nor of the figs. — Mrs. Hempel has 
come back today from her second staying in Peitaoho: she looks like a little Red- 
skin! — Finally, Weidenreich had a successful! Copenhagen meeting and is on his 
way back: he does not seem even to suspect what was on the point to come on 
him! — From the de Terra's, rather sad news (confidential): they have, at least for 
the time being separated — and both are suffering. The whole thing is so absurd. 
We shall talk of it in N.Y., and perhaps see them. — I think you could help her. — 
I went twice to Grabau's: we missed you, and received your card from Kobe. Olga 
/HempeU will be back in a few days. Grabau has now a huge police-dog very 
like Mowgli, but young and impossible, because he finds the courtyard too small 

— which is true. — Met once Nirgidma. Brial should be here very soon. 

I will write you again in a few days. 

Yours so much 

Peking Sept. 12, 1938 


1 have received, with such a joy, your letters from Kobe and Yokohama. 
They were so true, and so sweet. — I try to send you these few lines via Siberia, in 
case they should arrive before me. I am leaving this afternoon for Tientsin, — and 
to-morrow from Tientsin to Kobe (with Trassaert and Leroy, up to Tokyo! they 
take a trip to Japan). The Empress of Japan is supposed to leave Yokohama on 
Sept 24. 1 will probably have time to see the Grews in Tokyo. She is surely a 
remarkable person. — 

This last weeks have been sufficiently busy for not allowing me to think 
ton much ofTa Tien Shui Ching — where I did not risk me since you left. I suppose 

*A French physician, not his scientist colleague, Alberto Carlo Blanc. 

TEJLHARD the Drummonds are in Peitaho. — Mrs. Clubb is back, -but I did not meet her — / 
& LUCILE have seen a good deal Jacques, the Raphaels (they leave the next week, by the 
boat you know), and also Peggy Boyden. Peggy gave me, last thursday, a very 
H$ nice small farewell dinner: we were only four, Peggy, Helen Burton, Grabau (!) 
and myself The Mayo's dog died at the hospital! The boys have managed to get 
another one, of the same race (Peggy hopes that it has not been stolen!). - Dr. 
Blanc gave me a full series of shots (not because I was sick, but in order to clean 
me from any germ) — and that was an opportunity for me to have a succession of 
long talks with him. I appreciate him more and more — and his wife, too. - 

Since you left, I did not advance much "Man" because (on account of 
memoirs to correct or to print) I had absolutely no time. But the end of the first 
part (the most delicate section in the Essay) is definitely clear in my head. I hope 
to make a serious step ahead during the journey. 

Hope you have a nice time on the sea, with a lot of ideas germinating, 
and even blossoming. — These last days, I have received two different letters 
from Paris from editors, asking to publish my large Essay, written 10 years 
*go(0, M Le Milieu Divin". 1 will probably try to start again the matter in Paris. 
So many things to do! — 

Good bye, dearest — et a bientdt! 1 write you these lines "en Mte". 
Excuse the hand-writing— and be always "my light"! 

Yours so much 


New York, Oct. 28, 1938 

Lucile dear, 

Once more, we are parting — in order to meet and to be united deeper and 
higher. — God bless you for all what you have given me these days — still more 
perhaps than in the past! — As you told yesterday, the special value of these three 
weeks is that we have put in common, in a new environment, our work and our 
friends, as if it were in a single and common activity. Art and science, your 
friends and mine friends, are so closely mixed in my last experiences, that I can 
hardly separate them in my feelings and my memory. — This is, I suppose, the 
way to the future of what is between us — always growing. — 

More and more, I count upon you, for animating me, and directing me, 
ahead. Life must and will be for both of us a continual discovery — of ourselves, 
and of the true face of God who is the deepest bond between us. 

Yours for ever 


Paris, Nov. 7, 1938 


Just a few lines to give you the first news of Paris. This letter will be 
brought to you by the same Ile-de-France which took me away from dear New- 
York. Positively, I felt sore when I could see, for the last time, the sky-scrapers 

above 55th street — And yet it was such a fullness, inside, to have with me these THEIR 
last three weeks, and your sweet letter. Well — by living only we shall gradually ^32-41 
find how to adapt our two lives, for the highest, the closest, and the best — 

The journey was quiet, but a little monotonous — and I felt a little ug 
"blue" also. I never like to come back to France; and this time, I had been so 
spoiled and so happy in America. When I came back to my cabin, after leaving 
you, I found a luxurious basket of fruits, sent by Frick! — Such a nice man. — 
During these days, I had several long talks with Gilbert, and I liked him: another 
one who, after a period of hopeful youth, feels pessimistical, and inclined to retire 
from a fighting life, because he has lost his faith in the world. I saw also a great 
deal of Lecomte du Noiiy; we developed an immediate mutual sympathy — 
although we differ in this point that he is more inclined to criticize the narrow 
sides of modern science than to emphasize and correct its hopes (the immediate 
consequence of this turn of mind being that he missed a year ago his chance to 
become a colleague of Breuil au College de France). His wife [an American] is 
really attractive, but utterly different from Nathaly: completely "francisee", and 
working in the Lab. with her husband. — In Tourist class, I found a rather impor- 
tant priest from Paris, whom I could not avoid since the chief-steward had 
decided to put us together in the dining-room — but who turned to be an interest- 
ing man (I will send him a choice of my papers). 

Finally, the boat-train reached Paris at midnight! — The following 
morning, I was heartily received [at] Rue Monsieur, where I am, on the whole, 
happy. I have already met here an extremely interesting representative of the 
young generation emerging from the "Ecole poly technique": apparently, a move- 
ment is just borne there, aiming to develop this very type of "spiritual scientist" 
of which we have so often dreamt together: a man for whom research and discov- 
ery mean adoration. At the end of the month, I will see the group, and give there a 
short talk. — Before long also I am going to start the question de "UEnergie 
Humaine". - 

In the course of two days, I met a lot of friends. Prof. Boule, unchanged; 
Breuil, looking a bit older, but cheerful (we talked of you). Yesterday, I spent the 
day with the Begouens. Max was delighted with the seal, and Simone with the 
silk first she thought of a pyjama, and later of a Chinese dress (when she discov- 
ered that the silk was "a jours"!). Both look very well — but she had such a 
dreadful experience last winter.). We planned a lot of things, together. Later, in 
the evening, I went to see my brother, whom I found almost fat (relatively!). 
Camille was there, smarter than ever, with the cutest possible hat. She has spent 
three weeks in Auvergne, at my brother's place, and is simply regarded as the sec- 
ond daughter of the family [Camille was married to one of Teilhard's nephews].- 

Politically, things are somewhat gloomy, but not too much. I have the 
impression that, in spite of many "recriminations", the public feeling has 
improved in Europe, because the Munich agreement, in spite of betraying some 
weakness in France, has chiefly been a manifestation of good will and human 
repulsion from war. Spontaneous expressions of sympathy for France have been 
noted in Berlin and Munich, in the german people. I am decidedly optimistic. 

TE1LHARD Yesterday I saw Licent. He is decidedly leaving Tientsin — and there are 

& LUCILE serous possibilities for the coming of Trassaert. Licent will probably go to 

Shanghai — the best solution by far. 
120 I think of the opening of your exhibition — and I hope for your success — 

so deeply. — Let me know everything about it, and about your life in NX I can so 

well understand it, now. 

Yours, — dearest. 

TeilhaicTs impressions and hopes proved to be unduly optimistic — German troops were 
already in the Sudetenland and Hungary had been "given" southern Slovakia by Hitler's 
Germany. But France was to be free of war for nearly another year. 

Paris, 20 Nov, 1938 


I have been delighted, yesterday, when 1 received your so long and so 
good letter of Nov. 9 (I). Your lines were so full of life, si comprehensives, et si 
affectueuses! I found there what I love and need the most of you. Now I know so 
well your surroundings that I had, for some minutes (and even now) the real feel' 
ing to be still with you, in New York. And, in fact, do I not belong just so much to 
America that to France? 1 am deeply happy to think that you get from the big city 
the very enrichment for which we have, both of us, left for a few months dear 
Peking. I am waiting now the next letter in which you will tell me the end of your 
first experiences. I am quite surprised by the attitude ofMalvina Hloffman], and I 
can not believe that it means anything. She may have queer reactions. But it 
seems impossible to me that she should not like to show you her work [sculp- 
tures] and her "institute of art". She is such a "proselyte", and she knows how 
much you are dear to me. — Tell me your impression about Rhoda, too. 

1 hope you have well received my letter (1) (7 Nov.). Since that time, I had 
a busy and interesting time — and yet not too hectic, because I keep my rule to 
stay home every morning — with the result that I do not feel tired at all — and 
that I can think. My paper on Man did not progress, as far as the number of the 
written pages is concerned. But 1 have the impression to mature it constantly, — 
which is the most important thing. A number of people make me almost ashamed 
of myself by the way they appreciate "L'Energie Humaine", and go on saying that 
I may become the center of momentous things. 1 do not believe them. Yet I feel my 
responsibility just the same. "L'Energie Humaine" is now under new "revision". I 
have discovered that the people in charge of the first revision (last winter) did not 
take the matter in hand with sufficient energy. This time, I am decided to go as far 
as possible. Maybe I will also try to publish "Le Milieu Divin",for which I have 
a most positive offer from a well known editor in Paris. But I wonder whether it 
would be wise to start the two things at the same time. 

I wrote you already about the Begouens. I have seen them several times 
— and we meet again next Sunday, in a real meeting, with some 10 other peoples 
(a little too much). They were just so delighted as children by your silk and the 

seal. Simone looks better than Max, who got too many "migraines" recently: he THEIR 
could not rest enough, last summer. — I have received very good letters from Miss ^32-41 
Garrodffrom Miss Petre, etc. — By and by, I come in contact with a lot of friends, 
old and new. — Pray God, dearest, that I should be really able to give something m 
t&d to so many, to whom I am so anxious to give the best 

Scientifically, I make also some distinct progresses. — lam now settled 
in my office, a VInstitut de Paleontologie Humaine, and I had already several 
illuminating talks: I see more clearly the work ahead. But, evidently, work on 
ideas will absorb me much more than work on fossils, this winter. I will have 
several public lectures to give — but no regular "cours" — which suits me per- 
fectly. — I foresee a week in Toulouse, at the end of January, — and a 3-weeks trip 
in North-Italy after Easter. Otherwise I will not move from Paris. — 

Day after tomorrow I have to go to Lyon (2 days) for a formal visit to the 
Superior there. A rather uninteresting trip, except that I will make the journey, go 
and back, with a good friend, and that I hope to meet in Lyon a group of progres- 
sive minds. — 

Politically, things are still gloomy. Yet, I believe more and more that the 
Munich agreement has a much deeper meaning than what the politicians think: 
"Mankind" has expressed itself in refusing war, and this instinctive choice will 
evolve, I think, into far reaching consequences. In the meantimes, the world (and 
more specially the working mass) suffers of a strange incapacity to perceive any- 
thing above individual interest. A bright ray of hope, in France, is the fast 
increase of several important Christian groups (workers and "intelligenzia") 
which try to place in human development the base of their religion. I know sev- 
eral young men who have decided to give their life to research, just as they would 
have decided to join a religious order a few years ago! ...So many things I have 
already collected which I would like to talk with you. - 

The next time, I will write you in Chicago. 

Be happy and God bless you! 



I have received a letter from Bechamp (rather depressed, physically), 
containing a nice letter from Barbara: she is still in Chentu 
— apparently happy. 

Teilhard had returned to work in the Laboratory of the Institute of Paleontology in Paris 
where he had served under Marcellin Boule (its director) in the 1920s. His old superior and 
research associates apparently managed to find office space for him during this period. 

Paris, Dec. 7, 1938 


Such a long time since my last letter! - Your number 3 came here three 
days ago — and I was so happy to read it, as well as the precedent one. I am 
deeply glad that your exhibition was a success — even, at some extent, finan- 


TEILHARD dally. The most important is that you should feel, at the end of it, a new "impe- 
>nJ^™^ tos ", as Grabau says, to think, to imagine, and to create. After all, this is the 
fundamental reason for which we happen to he, just now, you in America, and 
122 wyse// in France. 

So far I am concerned, everything is remarkably O.K., except that, in 
Lyon, I discovered that my Roman General is (one time morel) pretty scared of 
me. A copy of "Le Phenomene Spirituel" came to his hands — which of course 
was a perfectly bad trick for me of Fortune — and, in addition, he heard that I 
was disturbing the mind of my young colleagues in China — which is positively 
unfair. Finally, I hope to go on sufficiently un-hampered. But I have to be some- 
what cautious provisionally in the line of public lectures and so, if I want not to 
break something which (I see it more and more clearly in France) must not be bro- 
ken by my own fault or initiative. Don't be afraid. I have never felt so clearly 
how many people (even in my Order) stick to me, support me, and expect some- 
thing from me. Something deep and broad is obviously moving in the world, and 
in France specially (far behind the ridiculous political stage). Since a fortnight, I 
spend hours, almost every day, with the most extraordinary diversity of people, 
ranging from the boundary of the working class up to the most refined, agnostic 
or sophisticated parts of the society. Everywhere I find the birth, or at least the 
expectation, of the new creed of Man in a spiritual evolution of the world. Don't 
be afraid, I tell you. I will do (and I do) my best to get printed, sometimes. But 
mere diffusion of ideas by private circulations are astonishingly powerful: after 
all, in such a way Christianity was born. Practically, "VEnergie humaine" has 
been recently read and approved by a colleague of mine (a professor of Theology 
at the Catholic University of Paris). But Paris is not Rome. I wonder whether, in 
the present state of my affairs, the best plan is not to postpone the real fight, and 
to start it on "L'Homme", when it will be finished. In this book, my views, 
because more developed, have a better chance to defeat the critics. So far, I have 
not yet made my mind up; but I watch the development of the situation. Just now, 
I am writing a short paper on "La Mystique de la Science", for a lecture, and most 
probably for an article to be published in "Les Etudes": this short Essai is more or 
less an undevelopped chapter of"L'Homme", and a preliminary trial. 

So, you see, I am pretty busy. But my plan to keep my mornings spent 
quietly at my table still holds strong, - and is remarkably efficient and restful. In 
the afternoon, I use to go to the Institut de Paleontologie Humaine, where I do 
not find so far, I must confess, a real field of scientific activity. In this line things 
will perhaps improve, gradually. - As often as possible, I go rue Raynouard. Max 
and Simone will perhaps go to Morocco in January — in which case Ida Treat 
would come here and keep the Begouen's appartment during their absence. Ida 
wrote me, two weeks ago. She had well received your letter (from Peking). She is 
writing slowly, for an american publisher, her "Memoires". The first chapters, I 
was told by Simone, have been tested by the publisher with several types of read- 
ers, and prove to be a real success. But, for Ida, it is a painful and depressing task 
to live again, and to re-make alive, all this past. — I am extremely glad of the 
Nirgidma's marriage [to Michel BrealJ. She might perhaps have reached a higher 

and broader sphere of activity in Asia, would she not have been so utterly "femi- THEIR 
nine". Still, I am sure she will be happy, - and Michel too. - 1932-41 


Good bye, dearest. — It is such a comfort and a strength to write you! — 
Hope this letter will reach you in Chicago. 223 



I was very pleased that you liked Rhoda. — 

[Paris] Xmas, 1938 


I have been so pleased to receive your letter 4, and so happy to feel that 
you are going on rather successfully and with plenty of courage along your amer- 
icon life! I feel it particularly sweet to write you on the very Xmas morning. I 
still remember your message of the last year, on the same day, when I was on my 
way to Burma. Each new year finds us closer to each other, is it not true, dearest? 
The same will be true, I know it, in 39. In the meantimes, let us go straight ahead, 
each of us, along our own converging paths. May you be stronger by me, as I feel 
stronger by you! — 

I hope you have not been disturbed by my last letter 3, written after my 
journey to Lyon. In fact, I don't think I have been ever so active and so busy in my 
life as during the past two or three weeks. Either during the morning, when people 
come to see me at home, either during the afternoons, when I use to go in town, I 
meet an astonishing number of colleagues and laymen who are equally on their 
quest for a new meaning to life. Indeed poor France, in some way so weakened in 
her external energies, seems to be tremendously alive inside, much more so per- 
haps than any other country in the world. I had the most unexpected meetings 
with the most influential, and sometimes you would say the most incredulous, 
people in Paris. And each time I realised that I could give them, at some extent, 
the thing they are craving for. — Why should I tell you all these things? — 
Because we are working together. — And also because I want you to believe that 
my method (to yield as far it is necessary not to break) is not so bad. On this 
point, which I can appreciate better than you, trust me: to break in a premature 
way, by my fault, would be a disaster for what I want to develop and to spread. 
— J have written what I think to be a good article on "La Mystique de la Sci- 
ence", to be published after January (after a lecture on the subject): the readers 
(critics) seem to be frankly enthusiastic about it. On another hand, I have devel- 
oped, in the course of a month of conversations, the matter of an interesting 
Essay on the internal dispositions required for the modern research-man. May be 
I will try to write it this winter. These side-works do not really interfere with, 
but prepare the completion of "Man". By these new shorter studies, I prepare the 
ground and the ideas of the book. In fact, they are sketches (des esquisses) of what 
I try to fix more definitely in the book. - 

Just now, they are many friends in Paris. I see regularly Breuil and the 
Bigouens, - just the same. Ida Treat has come rue Raynouard, for 3 weeks. She is 

TEJLHARD very busy with her book, which is going to be an inside story of the Communisme 

& WCILE j n p rance between the war and 1930. The first 7 chapters are excellent, I was told; 

but, for her, to live amongst the "dead" is painful and depressing. She and I, we 

124 W* very close spiritually; yet, her "mystic" is much more a "mystique de sympa- 
thie et pitie" than a "mystique de construction". I have never met anybody so 
able to resonner a la souffrance des autres: she positively feels in herself the pain 
of the world . . . For publication, she is helped and coached by a friend of yours, 
Mrs. Evans (Ernestine?), whom I could not yet meet. Simone likes Mrs. Evans 
extremely. - Met the Hoppenofs: they have a wonderful appartment near Notre- 
Dame, at the western end of "Vile", full of Peking's souvenirs. 

And I just receive your letter of December 11 (Chicago) exactly for Xmas! 
Is that not marvelous and sweet. -lam deeply interested by your impressions of 
Washington. The need of a change in the heart of politics, an ideal for Democracy: 
you are absolutely right I am just having a series of talks on this subject with a 
group of young influential men in Paris. So far Catholicism and its anti-progres- 
sism are concerned, well, we are changing that in France. If we succeed, something 
new will come in the world. This is the very fight of my life. — Art and Idea: I 
have met the problem already three times since I am in Paris. This is a great ques- 
tion: we shall discuss it, because I need an answer. 

Tomorrow I go to Auvergne: a few days with my "holy" brother. — 
Weather is pretty cold — but there is plenty of wood to burn in the country. — 

A happy new year, dearest 


Mrs. Hempel had to undergo an operation in the German Hospital (abdominal 
tumour?) Hope that there is nothing serious in the case. - 

45 rue Monsieur 
Jan. 10, 1939 


I have received three days ago your sweet Xmas letter. So, we were just 
writing to each other at the same time. No wonder. Are our two lives not "syn- 
chronised" since a long time? And are we not, in a true sense living the same life? 
I enjoy this feeling that, each of us in his own environment, we are developing the 
same effort, and consequently becoming nearer and nearer by the whole and the 
deepest of our experiences. To become one by the whole world. Is that not the true 
expression of love and God? 

Since my last letter, I have spent a week in Auvergne, and some ten days 
again in Paris. My staying in Auvergne was very pleasant and restful. The coun- 
try was somewhat bleak and white with snow, - and the old family house bit- 
terly cold. But it was so pleasant to spend the day at the corner of a country fire, 
looking at burning logs of which my brother could say: "This piece of wood comes 
from such or such tree you know, at such place of the estate"; or to walk "en sab- 
ots" along the frozen river, - or to listen at some distant radio. Three of my young 
nephews or nieces were there, for the holidays, making the house very gay; and I 

enjoyed as usually chatting with my holy brother and his witted* wife. She is THEIR 
very busy grouping the country girls in one of those new christian associations 1932 " 41 
which swarm presently in France; and she gets surprising results in the line of 
restoring in these peasant people the pride of the earth and a positive spirit of H5 
conquest An amazing metamorphose! Something like the changes observed by 
Snow* in Western China. — Life was simple and comfortable. Even my brother 
used to come in my room every morning to light the fire before I got up. 1$ not that 
sweet? — 

And now I am once more in the deep of my parisian life. Meetings and 
meetings. I had seldom to talk so much about my ideas in the course of my exist- 
ence. A proof of it is that I have been interrupted here, and had to spend almost 
five hours in discussions with five more or less influential people. You can easily 
understand that, in the course of such meetings, I get just so much as I give — 
because I have to go continuously further in the process of deepening and clarify- 
ing my views. One becomes so better aware of the importance of such or such 
point or topic when it happens to recur, just the same, in a whole series of intel- 
lectual contacts. — So, don't be anxious or impatient concerning my work. As I 
told you so many times, as long as things are progressing, no use to force them 
ahead: there is a natural rhythm everywhere in nature. Besides, I have several 
positive evidences that Rome becomes more favourable towards me, and that I 
am going through. Just like a shy horse: you must not bewilder it I have got full 
allowance to make the Nancy lecture at the end of January, and the text, rather 
suggestive, will be published in the "Etudes" ("La mystique de la Science"). 
Besides, I plan to write another Essay during the next weeks ("La grande option", 
meaning a new universalistic attitude born in Man). Of course, such things delay 
the writing of "Man" — but prepare it directly. — 

Coming to external news: 1) I expect Trassaert in a fortnight; he comes 
here via Rome; apparently poor Licent is not agreed by Shanghai, so that he is 
excluded from China altogether: I do not approve the decision, which seems to me 
unfair and inhuman. I shall be delighted of course to see Trassaert. 2) Mrs. 
Hempel was very weak after her operation (three "tumeurs"! . . .), but the condi- 
tions were sufficiently hopeful by the middle of December. 3) Nirgidma wrote me 
a nice letter: she is married, and expects a baby. Address: 10/1273, avenue Joffre. 
Shanghai'. -4) I see often the Begou'en's. Ida Treat is there, with them, so full of life 
and so practically idealistic!. I met twice "Ernestine", who has become an 
"habituie" of rue Raynouard. She is a grand person. 5) Camille is in Paris for two 
months more, — and more and more a daughter of my brother Joseph; she discov- 
ers, each time I see her, a more wonderful hat Very difficult to marry! 6) By lack 
of time, I did not join so far the Raphael's nor the Walen's. Maybe they are not in 
Paris, just now. 

* Teilhard's "English" for witty. 

f Edgar Snow, an American journalist who wrote, Red Star Over China, the seminal account 

of Mao. 

TEILHARD I must stop here, because today is again a busy day. — Such a pleasure 

& LUCILE an j a com f or f t nave hat this talk with you. — God bless you, dearest 



After almost three years without an entry, Lucile wrote briefly about their friendship. 

[Journal] Jan 14 - 1939 - Chicago 

And I've just gone through horrid days of doubt again - Shall I never get rid of 
this thing - must I always be so earthly and feminine? Thank goodness it is better now - 
but it seems so long before we will be together again - you left New York Oct 28 - and what 
a talk we had the night before you left - So terrible to me in some ways and yet so marvel- 
ously sweet - it is often a misunderstanding of words - but it is more than that too - It 
seems sometimes that I have to accept so many things - But you are such a wonderful such 
an unusual person that our friendship is worth anything - It is my fault for being too - 
well feminine! I love you so much - but I must love you more - then all will be well — 

No copies remain of Lucile's two Chicago letters that are mentioned in the following letter 
from Teilhard. It appears that she reopened one of their "pet discussions" — the physical 
aspect of their friendship. 

45 rue Monsieur 
Paris, VII, February 1,1939 


I answer here your two letters from Chicago, 3 and 15 Jan. I answer you a 
little late; but I have been specially busy, these two last weeks; so many people 
use to come, now, even during the morning, in my room. Well, I liked very much 
your letters — even that one which you did not like yourself — because it was so 
frank and so true. You know it, Lucile. I am fully aware of your difficulties inside, 

and sometimes anxious about my own responsibilities. The root of the 

whole thing, we have discussed it often. I do not belong to myself, and con- 
sequently I cannot give me entirely and exclusively to anybody. In some way, any 
love in my life must keep and make me (as well as those who love me), not only 
more alive, but free and freer, in an ever growing intimacy. Such things seem 
rather contradictory. Yet, I still believe (and specially from our own experience) 
that they are possible in a sufficiently rich and high atmosphere. So that my con- 
clusion would remain the same: let us go on, trying and building, more than anal- 
ysing and criticizing. Things are true when they are working. Whatever may 
happen in the material part of our existence, something is born between us, which 
is stronger than any external conditions. Joy and union are in a continuous com- 
mon discovery. Is that not true, dearest? 

I am glad, and deeply, because your exhibitions have been successful. But 
I understand so well that you feel the need for some rest and solitary work. I hope 
that you have already found both of them. — Here, my life is essentially the same. 

I meet mare and more people, mostly interesting; and I believe to see more and THEIR 
more clearly in my own mind: it would be impossible, of course, to have so many 1932_41 
contacts without receiving a lot, and without understanding better the deep 
meaning and the deep internal connections of the truth which one tries to make yil 
understandable and attractive. - Last week, I went to Nancy [in northeast 
France], for three lectures (one on Geology, the two others on "ideas"). One of 
them ("La Mystique de la Science") will probably be printed this month in Les 
Etudes: rather well written, and with a few interesting ideas in it. Just now, I am 
writing another short Essay on some fundamental attitudes of Man towards Life. 
And maybe I will try also an article on the Racial questions (I have been asked 
for, by my colleagues here). 

Two days ago, I was very happy to meet Trassaert — who has left 
already for a short time, but will soon be back. He came by Rome, where he had 
long talks with the higher superiors of my Order; and apparently he has suc- 
ceeded in changing a lot their views concerning many things in China, - and spe- 
cially concerning myself. It would seem that, provided I can avoid some external 
or premature manifestations, I will be at some extent approved, and even posi- 
tively backed. The wish of Rome is that I would succeed in giving some general 
exposition of my views in a way which could be accepted and recognised more or 
less officially. — Maybe. - Otherwise, not many news from China. Yet, I was 
delighted to receive a good letter from Mrs. Hempel, back in the Lab. She con- 
fesses that the Doctors were afraid before the operation. She urged to be operated. 
And now she seems to be O.K. Probably she will have to be careful, and not to 
work too much for some time. But to know that she is still there as before is a 
great relief — 

As usually, I have seen several times the Begouens. Ernestine has become 
a regular pillar of the house. — We talk often of you. 

This month, I have several lectures to give (on Choukoutien and on my 
trips). At the end of the month, I must go to Toulouse (several talks and lectures). 

Concerning the further future, I still plan to be in New-York at the end of 

June, — leaving the West-Coast (Vancouver?) between July 20 and 30. But I can- 
not be absolutely sure. My return-ticket is by the Canadian-Pacific: I don't know 
whether I could change for the Dollar Line? 

Good bye, dearest. God bless you! 



Paris, Febr. 13, 1939 


I forgot to inscribe on my note-book the date of my last letter 6, so that I 
am not sure not to repeat a few things in the present one. Anyhow, I have received 
a few days ago your sweet message of Jan. 24. 1 am so happy to feel that you are 
active, interested in your art, and sufficiently busy. It is such a grand thing to be 
alive by both of us! 

TEILHARD Personally, I go on approximately along the same path. Not much time 

& LUCILE feft to scientific work. But I do not care much about it After all, these months 
were to be devoted mostly to personal contracts and thought; and both are devel- 
128 °P* n i * n a satisfactory way. The trouble (?) is only that, so far as external activ- 
ity is concerned, I do not find any clear object on which any positive constructive 
work might materialize. I just succeed (more or less) in creating, or at least in 
developing, a spiritual climate or atmosphere . But, after all, maybe this, is the 
best and very thing I can do. - Did I tell you that I went to Nancy at the end of 
January? Three lectures, one on the geology of China, one on "La Mystique de la 
Science" (to be published very soon in our Review, here), and a third one deliv- 
ered, most unexpectedly, before a large audience of young priests (on "the place of 
Man in Nature"). I left too soon for having any idea of the reaction amongst these 
young men. — Next week (between Feb. 22 and 28) I must go to Toulouse for 
another series of lectures. — And, in the meantimes, I will have given four more 
lectures or semi-private talks here, two of them to various groups of students 
(Sorbonne, and Ecole Normale Superieure). The best results of these talks is per- 
haps for myself, since they oblige and help me to go deeper in the organisation of 
my "gospel". — I feel inclined to write on those new ideas immediately, - so that 
the writing on "Man" is somewhat postponed. But, at the same time, everything 
I do is precisely a preparation to give, in "Man", a better synthesis of what I 
believe. - 

Finally (did I tell you?) Trassaert has arrived, and 1 was very happy to 
see him. Presently, he is away from Paris. But he will stay here — up to the sum- 
mer — instead of Strasbourg; so that we shall be together several months. He 
came via Rome, where he had long and friendly talks with the highest superiors 
— the conclusion being apparently that I am in a much better position, and in a 
higher consideration there. — When 1 began to befriend with Trassaert in Tien- 
tsin, some 6 years ago, I never suspected that he could help me this way. 

Three days ago, I have received a short letter from Malvina Hoffman, 
answering a few papers I had sent her. She sounded courageous as usually, but 
deeply affected by the fact that young Miss Branch, whom she tried to save, had 
finally fallen back down (dope?), and deserted her. Maybe she will rescue her 
another time. Terribly pathetic to see how so many of the finest men and women 
waste their life in a wild quest for more life 

In my last letter I told you the best I can foresee for the date of my depar- 
ture (end of June from Paris, end of July from Vancouver, unless I can commutate 
my ticket for San Francisco). At some extent I can adjust me to your plans. — If 
you cannot come to Paris, do not worry. My plans for Northern Italy keep uncer- 
tain (political tension). But, in any case, April will be for me a busy period; and 
Max (and perhaps Simone) will probably be in Morocco. (I think they still think 
going to America). - So, we shall not loose much, probably, - if you decide not to 

Last week, I had a lunch at Passy, with [Charles] Lindbergh and his wife, 
in the perfectly pretty house of Mr. and Mrs. Miller (friends of Dr. Carrel). I dis- 
covered that the Millers are great friends of your friend the painter (Johnson?), 

the one who brought you in Touraine when you passed here the last time. Is it not THEIR 

funny to meet each other in this way! Lin-yu-Tang (is that the correct name? — I 1932m41 

mean the writer of "My country and my people") is living in the same street as 

the Millers, and they know him very well 229 

You will enjoy the two enclosed pictures taken at the Begouen's, on Xmas 

day: Ernestine, Ida Treat, Simone, Max. — We were talking of you. 

Deeply yours 


Received last week a letter from Mrs. Hempel, vivacious and teasing as before. 
She has returned her work at the P.UM.C. Weidenreich goes to the States in May, 
for a year, in order to get an american citizenship. — 

Paris, March 6, 1939 


I found here your letter of Feb. 9 on my return from a small journey to 
Toulouse — the gay pink-bricks-built, southern city. It made me a little miserable 
to think that you had flu — and I understand so well that you should have felt a 
bit depressed. In such and other similar circumstances, nothing much to do, but to 
wait patiently and optimistically for the next rays of sun. I think that you are 
now back in busy New-York — such a pleasant town in my memory! — 

I hope you have well received my last letters. My plans, for which you 
ask, keep substantially the same. But I feel so difficult to fix them in a definite 
way. A few days ago, I received a letter from Ralph Chaney urging me to be 
present at a scientific meeting, end of July, at San Francisco. That would delay 
my departure from Vancouver or San Francisco up to the middle of August. I 
really do not see and know where is the best for me and for us. Anyhow, I plan 
firmly to be in New-York the very first days of July. I am afraid these perpetual 
changes in my schemes will be a trouble for you. Maybe the best would be that 
you take your own decision; and I will try to adjust me to you as much as I can. 
— For the spring too, I go on without being able to build my plans much ahead. 
The possibility of a trip to Italy seems to decrease, now — partly on account of 
the french-italian feelings — partly because young baron Blanc is apparently less 
free to direct me on the field. — Unless Miss Garrod suggests another date, I 
intend to go to Cambridge-London between next 20-30 of march. — Rose wrote 
me a very kind letter a week ago (she is still living at the same address). I would 
surely see her. 

In the meantimes, I am so busy in Paris that I do not feel specially anx- 
ious to go abroad. I gave a lot of lectures, since three weeks — two in Paris, and 
four in Toulouse, mostly on scientific subjects, but also on more philosohical 
things; — and this week I have still to address the students of the "Ecole Normale 
Superieure" — first the men, and then the girls. — My article on "La Mystique de 
la Science" will be published on March 20; — and I am in the actual preparation 
of another article on Races, which interests me deeply. — Another short paper is 
finished (not yet typed): interesting, but perhaps not sufficiently focussed. Maybe 


TE1LHARD I will try to publish it somewhere (m intrinsical difficulties — but I do not see 
,^.i^wn where to publish). On the whole, 1 believe to progress in my views — and to 
smooth appreciably the way for the book on Man, - which I am more and more 
230 decided (and asked) to finish, in a year if I can* - As far as Rome is concerned, I 
have (and many others of my friends have too) the strong feeling that sympathy 
towards my work is really improving. — Let us go ahead, Lucile. I feel so much 
stronger, and everything is so much sweeter for me, because your influence is on 

Yesterday, I went to see the Begouen's. Max is in West- Africa, since a few 
days. Simone was just finishing a very cute Chinese dress with your pink silk, 
which proved large enough to provide the material for a complete "robe", and a 
Chinese "veste" to be used with blue trousers! — We paid a visit to Ernestine who 
had a bad cough for two weeks, but looks much better now. — Jacques should be 
here — but I could not spot him so far. The same with the Raphael's. — Such is 
the life in big Paris. — Everything is so much more easy and cosy in old Peking. 

Trassaert is here, already working hard, and distinctly happy. — News 
from N. China prove that Japanese feel more and more uncomfortable in the midst 
of the Chinese hornet, and begin to grow nervous, with some unpleasant reactions 
on foreign institutions. Everything is quiet in the P.U.M.C. Mrs. Hempel is busy 
as before her operation; and Dr.Weidenreich plans to spend the next year in New 
York (for an american citizenship). Von Koenigswald is in Peking. He brought his 
Pithecanthropus material, including a fine upper-jaw, discovered two days before 
he left Java. Very exciting. 

Good bye, dearest. — Be happy, and God may give you the inside view 
and feeling of the birth of a Loving World! 



Paris, March 19, 1939 


I have well received your long and precious letter ofFebr. 26 — from the 
Gorham Hotel. And it is so sweet to think of you in the familiar New York sur- 
roundings. I hope that you will find some ways to develop there your thoughts 
and activity — with many friends, and perhaps along some definite lines of work. 
— To converge towards each other by the deepest of the life: I do not know any 
warmer feeling than that. 

Here, my own life is rather the same, interesting, and rather busy. More 
contacts with different people, each week. I still keep the same routines: at home, 
and mostly writing in the morning; doing some scientific work afternoon. — 
Writing is going on regularly. My article on "La Mystique de la Science" will be 
out tomorrow (I will send you a separate). Another one (on some fundamental 
attitudes of Man) is finished, but perhaps a bit complicated; 1 am not decided to 
use it — unless Simone makes a special edition for it. And now I have started an 
Essay on Races, to be published here. I am rather interested by the subject, which 
leads me to unexpected and new conclusions. A very useful preliminary sketch for 

a chapter of "Man", in any case. — In the line of Sciences, I am busy with an old THEIR 
material from Abyssinia, collected by Breuil and myself years ago, and still wait- * 932 ~4* 
ingfor publication. The subject is not exactly exciting. But it has to be worked 
out; and if I do not take it in my hands, nobody will do it. 231 

Besides, I had many semi-public talks, since the beginning of the month, - 
one specially which will amuse you: to some sixty "artists" (sculptors, painters, 
writers, musicians) forming a new section in the group for the study and improve- 
ment of Man organised by the french ingenieur Coutrot (in association with 
Aldous Huxley!). I had to address this selected crowd at the end of a lunch, and 
my subject was: "how to understand and use Art in the line of Human Energy". I 
expressed the idea that Art was the expression of the "exuberance" of human 
energy — so that its function was to give a kind of consistency, an intuitive and 
almost instinctive shape, and a personal character to this ever growing supply 
and excess of spiritual forces gradually freed from material ties: just like science 
and philosophy, but in a much more spontaneous and personalistic way. — Peo- 
ple seem to have been satisfied. 

Besides, I have met several friends, including the Raphael's, a week ago. 
They look perfectly happy in Paris, he witty, and she pretty, as ever. She has 
dropped (relatively speaking) shop and theater, to become a student ofl'Ecole du 
Louvre, where she enjoys the mystery of pre-Corean /Korean] tombs and such 
things. Facing this new hobby of her, he keeps sceptical and obviously proud. — 
Jacques is on his way back to France. — / understood that Quintini is in Paris, 
and Mrs. Walen in South Africa. I did not see either of them — and I feel a little 
ashamed. - 

And this is practically all. Max is in Guinea, somewhat tired, it seems. 
Too much to do in a short time. — Ida was supposed to go through Paris with 
"Andre" — but she was delayed in Marseille with a slight flu. Next thursday I go 
to Cambridge and London, for a week, to see Miss Garrod, Patterson, and others. 
I will meet Rose /Jameson] in London; in april, she will have to enter hospital for 
appendicites: a nuisance! — My plan seems to be definitely to leave he Havre to 
New York on June 23. (Champlain) . — Impossible practically to move earlier. — 
Two days ago, I got a letter from de Terra: he had just arrived Genoa, rather 
depressed morally and physically (intestinal trouble and nervous breakdown); he 
has left Boston to search rest and medical care in Italy, near Tyrol; the only good 
news is that he has got support from the Carnegie Foundation to publish the 
Burma memoir. — 

Well, you know the critical position of Europe. "Anti-munichois" are 
satisfied, — since Hitler proves impossible to be trusted. I still hope blindly that 
there will be no war. But everybody is anxious. France will never give a bit of 
Tunis to Italy: this is the only sure thing. — Under such political conditions, my 
trip to Italy seems to be impossible. 

Good bye. I have a heap of letters to answer on my table; and yours, of 
course, went first. 

Ever yours 


TEILHARD Laboratoire de Geologie Appliquee 

& LUCILE aux Origines de I'Homme 

CORRESPOND April 7, 1939 

132 Dearest, 

1 am awfully late in writing you this time, both because I have been 
merged in the writing of a paper, these days, and because of my trip to England. 
And yet 1 have well received your two letters from New-York (March 10 and 23), 
the first of which reached me in London. You were so full of feelings and ideas, 
Lucile. That made me so happy! 

My stay in England was simple and satisfactory. When I reached Lon- 
don, President Lebrun was still there. But I took the underground straight to Liv- 
erpool str. sta., and went directly to Cambridge, where Dorothy Garrod was 
waiting for me on the platform. She is living with her mother in a highly english 
cottage, attended by a highly british maid, and protected by a most amusing lit- 
tle fox-like welsh sheep-dog. And we decided that we could live altogether in 
perfect association. Weather was rather bad, even snowy — a pity, because the 
grass was green, spread with crocus and daffodils, and the almond-trees in full 
bloom. 1 saw Patterson (the one who was in India with de Terra and myself) and 
his new norwegian wife — and also Burkitt /Miles CJ, the high-bred prehisto- 
riatt who is presently living in the most charming house of a village, 2 miles out- 
side of Cambridge: we had not seen each other since 27 years(!) in Spain, but the 
reconnaissance was easy and cheerful. Dr. Lindgreen was in Lapland. — Dor- 
othy, the Patterson's and myself spent an interesting day motoring to the gravel- 
pits north-east of the town. And, the last evening I was a guest of the Trinity 
College usual dinner, - not so different from those in my own houses — with the 
"master" at the head of the table, everybody in gown — and the large, dignified, 
Elizabethan room. — In London, I settled in the extremely fashionable house of 
my Order, Farmstreet, near Hyde Park — a very convenient location to reach the 
South Kensington Museum (Natural History). 1 enjoyed really meeting the peo- 
ple there, and I saw a lot of interesting things. But everybody was more or less 
wasting time in "anti-air raids preparations". 1 spent the most part of a day in a 
pleasant visit to Rose, who has found a nice little flat, some 45 minutes from the 
center of town. 1 found her a little the reverse of reduced, but otherwise just the 
same. You know that she has had rhumatisms, and will have this month her 
appendix removed. She is very courageous, and on the whole she looks happy 
(largely because Michael has developed in a tall strong, laborious and affection- 
ate boy). But she is terribly short of money, because she is not allowed by the 
law to teach regularly, and because Jim does not earn much this year. She had 
received recently a long letter of Mr. Bennett, which sounded rather unpleasant, 
as far as the condition of un-protected foreigners (e.g. Russians) is concerned in 

And now I am back since a week in Paris. My article (Mystique de la Sci- 
ence) of march seems to have been appreciated. (1 will send you a separate). And 
now I am writing the last paragraphs of an Essai sur les Races, where I believe to 
tell a few rather new things. This Essay should be published. The precedent one 

("La grande Option"), written in January and February, is perhaps less focussed, THEIR 
and not so easy to be printed, because of the lack of a convenient Revue. — When 1932 ' 41 
tite paper on the Races is finished, I will probably turn back to Man. But then my 
time in France will approach its end. — / have made a reservation on the Cham- 13$ 
plain (leaving Le Havre on June 23). An y boat leaving the West Coast after 
August 1 would suit me. Make your choice, and let me know. — 

As usually, I keep seeing many people here. And I enjoy greatly to dis- 
cover that Trassaert is quietly following my track. Two days ago, he was asked 
by a friend of him to speak to some 30 working-girls (the acting representatives of 
a huge association, theJ.O.CF., Jeunes ouvrieres catholiques, born in France some 
10 years ago). He talked about spiritual evolution in the world, and the girls were 
tremendously enthusiastic. Now you must remember that the JOCF includes some 
hundred thousands members in France only (they are spreading in 22 nations) and 
that they spread in an astounding way — exclusively by mutual love and devo- 
tion. The way these girls approach and win the other ones by genuine, intelligent* 
and indefatigable help and friendship is simply amazing. The same is true with 
the young men together. I am convinced that we are unconsciously witnessing one 
of the most startling human movements in history, — with no trace of hardness 
nor hatred whatsoever in its progression. Simply love, — but love based on the 
faith that the World "is converging into somebody " also loving and definite. And 
this is the point where my poor intellectual efforts come in: because, to these 
working boys and girls (as well as for the other classes of people), my "views" 
supply a perspective where the past, the present and the future meet in an atmo- 
sphere of material progress and progressing love. Once more, maybe, a new life is 
expanding from the mass, below. — Anyhow, I was just a bit surprised, and so 
happy to discover that Trassaert, whom I knew mostly by collaborating on dry 
bones, was just another myself on the deeper ground! 

Besides, I have seen, this week, Ida Treat, and the Raphaels. — LT. is 
just finishing with Andre the book (on the Far East) to be printed in New-York 
by the Pearl-Buck's new husband. Several chapters have been published in 
"Asia" latterly under the name of Marc Aven. — Her own autobiographical book 
should be ready by the fall. — From the Franco-chinese bank I heard a rather 
amusing (or pathetic) news. Because they do not have sufficient gaz for their 
trucks along the Burma-Yunnan road, the Chinese have ordered a thousand kilo- 
meters of narrow-gauge rail: and the transportation will be made by small wag- 
ons pushed by thousands and thousands of coolies. It is so courageous — and s& 
Chinese! — In the meantimes, Japanese get nervous. Peking is quiet — but Tien- 
tsin not so. A month ago, some 3,000 "ash boxes" (Japanese soldiers) were pass- 
ing weekly from N. China to Japan. In addition, suicides seem to be positively 
more and more common in the Japanese army. — Two days ago, I have paid a 
visit to Mr. Gunn, at the Rockefeller Foundation here. I tried once more to get the 
fellowship in America for Eddy Bien; but the thing is not easy, being given the 
present policy of the Foundation (to help organisation of China m China). Dr. 
Grant is now in Yunnan and Szechwan; — but is already appointed to Calcutta, 
for an important work. 

TEILHARD Good bye, dearest — Day after tomorrow is Easter. May you feel happy! 

& LUCILE — /Vfy deepest thought and affection will be, as usually, with you. 




*Infact, although sticking jealously to their "classe", they develop personalities 
much above the supposed level of this classe. [Footnote written by Teilhard. Editors] 
(Hiis is the first time I use this new letter-paper!) — Max is still in 
Africa. Simone with her mother in Normandie, and she has the flu. 

Laboratoire de Geologie Appliquee 

aux Origines de I'Homme 

Paris, April 26, 1939 


I am so sorry to be late in answering your sweet letter of April 6! But I 
have been somewhat drowned in my life, here, since Easter: papers to finish, peo- 
ple talk with, etc. Anyhow, the first thing I wish to tell you is that I have booked 
this morning on the Empress of Japan (aug.5). I hope that the schedule of the 
French Line will not be too much disturbed by the disparition of the s.s. Paris, so 
that the M Champlain" will sail at the right time to New York. — So, everything is 
settled for my departure, unless we should have an European war. But this last 
eventuality seems to be less and less probable. The Roosevelfs speech has appar- 
ently more impressed (nobody can stop radio diffusion) german and Italian 
masses than the dictators would have liked or expected. 1 am convinced that 
every month of protraction of peace is a won time; not only because England and 
France have time to prepare — but chiefly because the spirit of peoples is chang- 
ing in the meantime. — Let us be optimist. 

Since my return from England, I did not move from Paris. Weather was 
glorious, at Easter time — but now we have a grey and rather cold sky. Yet, Paris 
is magnificent, in his chestnut-trees glory. Everything green; and so beautiful 
flowers between Le Louvre and les Champs-Elysees. — As I told you, I have been 
busy. First, I have finished my article on Races, which seems to be accepted by 
Les Etudes — and even rather enthusiastically. In fact, the thing is rather clever. 
— Now I have started a short study on Education (observed from a biological 
point of view), to be printed as a Conclusion of a book prepared by a colleague of 
mine. To have got more precise ideas on both Races and Education will help me a 
lot in the question of Man. — So, I do not wander so much as you could suppose. 
On the other hand, it is more than useful for me to write "printable" things just 
now. Everything is approximately settled, and OK, with my order; but I had 
something like a narrow escape. I will explain it to you orally, in a few weeks. 
The trouble of course was a misunderstanding between me and Rome. Here, my 
colleagues are awfully nice, and devoted to me and my cause. So, do not worry. 

A more serious trouble, last week, was with Simone, who got seriously 
ill, when she was in her family home, in Normandie. She got a broncho-pneumo- 
nia, "staphylocoques" (a nasty germ, this year, they say, all over the world) — 

and we were seriously anxious. At the same time she lost her father (for the same THEIR 

cause?), and also an aunt. Now she is safe, but not yet back in Paris. Max was in 1932 ~ 41 

Guinee! — He flew back. — Ida Treat kept the Rue Raynouard home, and was in 

charge of the young American girls, in the meantimes. A rather bad period, as you 235 


From Peking, Pei has just written me that the Japanese (this little snake 
of Akabori, I suppose) are doing some work at CKT (Chou Kou TienJ. The 
P.UM.C. tries to stop the thing. But will they succeed? We just wait for subse- 
quent developments. I have written to Wong, asking for personal direction, in 
case the Japanese would interfere more seriously. One reason more for which I 
should like to be already back in China. But I cannot leave earlier than June, — 
unless something very serious should happen. 

Nothing much to tell you about the political situation. People talk and 
talk. But nobody is able to do more than express personal wishes or impressions. 
The common feeling, as I told you above, is that, in any case, war is not abso- 
lutely imminent. But we spend a terrific lot of money in military preparations of 
all kinds: the situation can not last more than a few months. 

Good bye, dearest It seems so sweet to think of you. I am glad that you 

can work a little, and that your mind is active — and your heart deep and 




Les meilleurs etplus affectueux souvenirs d'lda Treat! 

Paris, May 10th, 1939 


Your precious letter from Southborough was still unanswered when I 
received the not less precious one from Milton. Don't scold me too much for being 
so slow. My time is pretty full up — so much so that I wonder whether I could do 
any scientific work more, should I stay in Paris. So many people to talk at, to 
answer, to help! On the whole, a most interesting period, during which I have 
continually to test and to improve my "Gospel". But that will be a good thing for 
me too to escape for a while, in America et in China — in order to assimilate the 
mass of these experiences. — As I told you in my last letter, I have booked on the 
Champlain (Le Havre, June 24) and the Empress of Japan (Aug.5). I plan to spend 
the end of July in San Francisco, where they have a Pacific Congress [of geolo- 
gists]. - In some way, I wish I should have already left St.Lazare station. The last 
weeks in Paris, with so many people clinging to you, are sometimes a real trial — 
chiefly this time when I stayed longer. Well, God will help me, — and you are 
waiting for me. 

On the whole, everything is all right with me. My paper on Races has 
been accepted, rather enthusiastically, by the Etudes, and will possibly come out 
at the end of the month. Of course, Les Etudes are not an exceptionally glorious 
place where to be printed. But they have many readers. And to be accepted there 

TEILHARD for a second time will surely do a lot for my good reputation. — / have just fin' 

& LUC1LE ktej also another short paper on the "biological" meaning of education, to be 

printed as a conclusion of a book edited by a colleague of mine — which will 

136 wor * a ^ong the same line. Both these Essays are perfectly sincere, rather clever; 

and they will help me a lot for the redaction of Man* So many things grow clearer 

in my mind. 

These last days, I met a good number of Chinese or ex-Chinese friends: the 
Raphaels. Lagarde (now an important man, just as Hoppenot, at the Foreign 
Affairs), Jacques — and even the Velloso's, by mere chance, in an Hotel (they were 
on their way to the Rome embassy). The Raphaels expect to be sent back to 
Peking in a few weeks, and do not like it, since they feel thoroughly happy in 
Paris. Jacques is already lost amongst his friends and lady-friends. He brought 
with him his number-one boy, who has immediately discovered the Hoppenofs 
boy, and the de Martel's boy — all pekinese. Going to the Jacques flat, a few days 
ago, it was such a fun to be greeted by the same Chinese smile, the same proposal 
for a drink, and the same Anna-May Wong's pictures. — Ella Maillart went 
through Paris a few days ago. She plans to go back to Afghanistan — motoring 
there with a Swiss lady. — 

Finally, Simone is back Rue Raynouard, — not very strong yet, — but so 
sweet and gay. She complains not to feel the need of working, - which of course is 
a sure indication that she is not yet just like herself. I still feel a little anxious for 
her health. — And Max is unfortunately obliged to go, this very week, to 
Morocco, — only a fortnight after arriving from Guinea. The Morocco visit was 
cut on account of the illness of Simone. —Ernestine has become a regular friend 
and visitor of the house. — Ida Treat has left a few days ago, to Britanny, with 
Andre. — Did you hear that Nirgidma had a dead-child, and was very sick!.. 
Jacques told me that she has recovered. But how sad! You ought to write her. I 
don't know how to do it myself, since I know nothing about her reactions. 

Good bye, dearest. — Only two or three letters more! 

God bless you 


Paris, May 28th, 1939 


Your last letter (May 7) came here short after I sent you my Number 11. 
And I am sorry not to have answered it earlier. But I have been more busy than 
ever. And now the day of my sailing is approaching so fast that I begin to feel as 
if I could never finish what I have still to do. In fact, I hate these last weeks 
before a departure: I could not stay here for full eight months without getting a 
lot of people accustomed to have me, and without getting myself accustomed to 
them and to the places. This periodical breaking of my life is possibly useful. 
Still, it is a little hard. Fortunately, you are waiting for me in sunny California, 
dearest! Most probably my cousine Marguerite (I told you often about her) will 
come with me as far as New-York: she needs to see America and Washington, 

before writing a book on Lincoln (an aunt of her, formerly Miss Lamon, is the THEIR 
granddaughter of the secretary and friend of Lincoln). If the plan materializes, I932 ^ 1 
crossing Atlantic will be a pleasure-trip! — / have sent to Chaney (California 
University) an abstract for two "communications" at the Pacific Congress of San i$j 
Francisco. Most probably, I will not stay very long in New-York, — but move to 
San Francisco as early as possible, — on about July 20 probably. 

Here, I have practically stopped lectures and writing, — and I try only to 
finish a short scientific paper before my departure. My article on Races (a rather 
long one) will come out on June 20: 1 have already corrected the proofs. And the 
paper on Education is accepted too. These last days, I have come back a little to 
the manuscript of Man. My ideas have decidedly improved, during the last 
months, I think. We shall talk them over, on the Pacific! A week ago, I under- 
stood, from a letter ofmyfrench Superior, that Rome has very much relaxed, so 
far I am concerned. They wish positively, down there, to see me writing more and 
more "possible" papers. A good omen for Man! Anyhow, I will try to make a good 
use of this favourable mood. 

Just now, during the feasts (Pentecote), Paris is almost empty. Max is in 
Morocco — and Simone in Brehat Island (Brittany), with Ida Treat. She was bet- 
ter when she left, but not yet very strong. — / will probably myself spend a few 
days with my holy brother in Auvergne, next week. — After a very cold month, we 
have now a fine spring; and Paris is so green and wonderful. They keep digging 
shelters (against air-raids) everywhere. But nobody seems to care any more of the 
war. And yet the danger is still there; and the whole life is more or less paralysed 
by this constant threat. Something has to be done for reorganizing internation- 
ally economic life! 

Did you hear of the election of Dorothy Garrod as a professor in Cam- 
bridge? She is amazed herself by this unexpected success. Being the first woman 
in this situation, a whole code of etiquette has to be elaborated in the University, 
on account of her! — Hellmut de Terra is in Munchen, in good physical conditions 
again. I do not think he will come back to America. 

Good bye, dearest. My next letter will be the last written in France. 


S.S. Champlain, June 29, '39 


We are due tomorrow in New-York, and I wish to let you know immedi- 
ately that I am really back to the states. Finally, I did not write you a "last" let- 
ter from France. My time has been crowded, the last days. And chiefly, I got a 
kind of cold or flu, two weeks ago; and I was wondering whether I should not 
have to postpone my departure. So I did not feel like sending you a letter at that 
time. But now, everything is practically over; and I am glad not to have altered 
my plans. — / expect to find a letter of you at the Museum! — So far I know, I 
will stay in New-York ten days or a fortnight (at the most) — and then proceed to 

TEILHARD San Francisco (Berkeley), where I plan to arrive on about July 20. — But I will 

& LUCRE write you something more precise from New-York. 

Since Le Havre, the journey is quiet, but the weather grey and rainy. I am 

138 travelling with my cousine Marguerite (I told you about her), who plans to spend 
a few weeks in Philadelphia, Washington, and other places, in order to get a per- 
sonal impression on the country of Lincoln (an aunt of her was formerly Miss 
Lamon, daughter of the friend of Lincoln; she will write a book on Lincoln for the 
french public). In addition, I had the great joy, in Southampton, to meet my friend 
and colleague, Pierre Charles (from Louvain), en route to New-York, too. Charles 
is one of the men I like the most, inside of my order: extraordinarily intelligent 
and witty. And, for years, I had not seen him. 

Besides, the boat is half-empty (not the same, when she comes back), and 
very comfortable. — I had a lunch, two days ago, with some friends in first class, 
and Stokowski, the great musician was one of the guests. 

The whole situation in N. China is a puzzle. Well, the best, I think, is to 
go and see. 

A bisntQt, dearest 


N.Y., July 15, 39 


I have well received your last letter from Chicago. - These few lines to tell 
you that 1 am arriving in Berkeley on July 23, by the train reaching San Francisco 
at 8.25 a.m. - 1 have no answer from Dr. Chaney; so that I have no idea so far 
where I will stay. - But that does not matter. - 


Everything O.K. here. 

Teilhard spent almost three weeks in July working at the American Museum in New York. 
Then he visited Henry Field in Chicago, before hurrying on to a geological convention at 
the University of California — Berkeley. In the San Francisco area he gave two talks. Then 
he went on to Vancouver to meet Lucile where they boarded the SS Empress, sailing from 
Vancouver on August 5, 1939. They arrived in China in September, just as Europe was 
becoming engulfed in the Second World War. 

Once back at the Jesuit house in Peking, Teilhard settled into thinking and writ- 
ing. He also resumed his regular visits to Lucile's house where they discussed what he was 
writing — The Phenomenon of Man. They reviewed it together, and she retyped the pages he 
had reworked. 

Sometime in October she wrote a long letter to him. She did not send the letter; 
the unsigned original was among her papers. Her own later note (early in 1940?) on the last 
page records only "Written some weeks ago — in October 1939." 

October 1939 THEIR 
What happens to cause this deep feeling of depression and outbursts like yester- letters 

day? It is true that things have not changed, at least your attitude has not changed. It is 
just that I understand it better, perhaps not "understand" but at least I know more about 139 
it. And I am convinced that the root of the whole thing is that you really do live on a differ- 
ent, a higjher, plane than do most of us - and I have always considered you as a regular man 
- superior, yes, but nevertheless with the same needs as other men. And now I don't believe 
that is true - I have thought that there was a certain aloofness or coldness about you which 
I would help by giving without reserve a deep warm love. But I wonder if you either want 
or understand it. You love, yes, but on a different plane. I have been able to get glimpses of 
that plane, so that I can understand you, but it is very difficult for me to maintain that 
level - and then is when the difficulty comes. You just don't experience jealousy or some of 
the other less admirable emotions and so cannot understand them. They are quite normal 
in the "average" person - but anyhow it is all mixed up because I can't keep up to your 
plane and I ask for things that you do not want to give because you really don't under- 
stand them - and then that causes an inequality that is ugly. And then these things happen 
and then I feel like hell -and what's it all about anyway. 

And I THINK I now understand better your writings too. Mankind is so 
unhappy, so miserable, that most people are trying to find some way ofclianging this and 
of making it possible for man to live more happily on this earth — but you are really want- 
ing to establish a RELIGION — / mean the existence and the kind of God — and trying to 
prove that He does really exist - and you use modern scientific methods to prove what the 
old boys more or less took on Faith. That is why it is sometimes difficult to understand 
you, because I have been looking for something that is really only of secondary consider- 
ation. Yes, if Man believes in God and the Universality of Him, they will discover the 
means of making life more beautiful and full, etc. But Pierre, your God seems so cold, so 
far away. Am I all wrong in thinking that I could help you to feel Him more warmly by 
giving you a deep and constant human love? You are hampered at every turn by that 
Order - but surely it can't hamper what you FEEL! It is rather difficult - 1 honestly want 
so much to help you - and I know that you do need me too - but haw? What can I do. And 
when I become so damned HUMAN (?) is it really very UGLY? It seems that I can go for 
just about so long and then the dikes burst. Am I making any progress? It seems to me 
that I really do understand the whole thing better — and the thing to keep in mind always 
is that you do operate on a higher plane — when I judge you, and US by ordinary stan- 
dards, they just don't make sense - NICE men don't io things like that — and so we 
always come back to the same thing and that's the answer — you are so superior that I 
can't always keep up with you. 

But Pierre, I do appreciate you and I do believe that you have something really 
important to give man and if there is any way that I can help I really do want to do it - that 
I have even slight visions of your needs is something and I will try to keep those visions 
before me more and more. Because you mustn't get too far away. The people right here 
need you so much. You see I have probably idealized human love and thought tliat it could 
be the highest expression of love on this earth - but will you not get impatient, and help me 
to see and to understand what you see and feel? Which I know is much higher and better 
than anything that I can imagine. It is when I want some human, some warm response 

TEILHAKD from you and day after day it does not come - then that terrible feeling ofaloneness and of 
& UIC1LE fofag y 0U g ets more Hum / am stand - and then I realize that I am not losing anything - 
because I never had it! And that doesn't help much either. 
140 ' suppose for the first time, I mean since our talk on the boat, I have really real- 

ized and accepted this. At least at times I have accepted it and then your behavior all seems 
so contradictory that I don't know what to think and then the explosion comes -and I will, 
I will try to remember that the mix-up is all because the plane is not the same. You are not 
wrong, and I am not wrong, but you are living on a higher plane and I must try to see that 
and feel it and be a PART of it. And you will help me I know. 

In the coming year Peking's foreign population diminished steadily. Families of govern- 
ment officials and businessmen left for home. The French who remained in the city met as 
frequently as possible to sustain themselves through the long anxious winter that would 
finally end with the despoliation of their far-away country. New arrivals were greeted 
eagerly for news more recent than that reported by six-week old magazines and papers. 
But except for the more and more conspicuous Japanese presence, life continued in much 
the same way. Both Teilhard and Lucile were in Peking from September 1939 to August 
1941 — the two-year period when he was completing the "famous book." Lucile wrote 
briefly about the manuscript. 


"In my 'Line a Day' I note that it was June 18, 1940 tlmt he first brought me the 
manuscript of L' Homme which was soon changed to Le Phenomhxe Humain . He was very 
happy about the book. It took me a long time to read it. So we discussed it a great deal, and 
we read aloud, especially the Gospel of St. John." 

Teilhard had finished Le Phinomene just as France was about to surrender. Friends tell of 
Teilhard the Frenchman weeping quietly and saying, "I don't understand". (German 
troops occupied Paris on June 14, Marshal Pe*tain sued for peace on June 17, France surren- 
dered on June 22.) A month later Lucile received a brief letter from Teilhard. She had just 
written to him from the seashore resort where she was vacationing. 

Institut de Geo-Biologie 

Rue Labrousse 

Peking, July 17, 1940 


1 have well received yesterday afternoon, your precious letter of July 13 
— and with much joy. A kind of compensation for the much missing 5 oxl I am so 
glad that you have such a good time, with so many good friends. In fact, Peking 
is practically empty, these days. 

Our large vans have finally reached Rue Labrousse the day after you left: 
three monstrous things, which may have been mistaken for elephants-cages. A 
few policemen were so scared that they tried to stop them. And Vargassov took a 
full set of pictures! So, 1 have plenty of work, rather amusing, to sort the sped- 


mens in my cases. — Besides, I go on, typing my palaeontological memoir, and THEIR 
completing the granites of China. —Miss Barbier was more busy, these last days, f^^* c 
so that the progress was slower. Yet, notebook 5 (the largest) is soon finished. I 
have improved a few things in my manuscript. ^ 

Besides, I went to Grabau last Sunday, as usually. On Monday, very 
amusing lunch at the Raphael's, with Leroy. Jeanne Mollard was at her best, and 
Raphael, teasing her, at his best too. — Do you know that the Peking's Hotel is 
now sold to the Japanese, — in very good conditions apparently. Possibly very 
little will be changed externally. I hope so for Vetch and Helen Burton! — 

Half an hour ago I passed by your house to take the sketches for my book. 
The boys were quietly playing Majong — and the dogs were delirious when they 
saw me. Evidently they expected you next. The sitting-room was clean — but of 
course the couche not yet back. 

I have received a letter from my cousin (end of may). She is decidedly bet- 
ter, — and nothing at the lungs. Such a relief. — But how are thefrench people 
living, just now? Nobody has received any letter so far, later than the armistice. 

You are right when warning me not to accept to get "old". As you know, 
the year was not specially good physically for me; and probably also I lack a def- 
inite object of work or conquest ahead. Not so much a "right" as an incentive to 
live. — On this point, particularly, you can do a lot for me, and I need you — and 
I wish so much to do something in turn for you. 

Already Wednesday afternoon. The week is almost finished. And you 
come after the next one. 

Yours, so much 


Tomorrow I have tea with Tilly 

My best regards to J. Smythe 

As the international social circle grew smaller in Peking, the two friends were together 
more often — on excursions to the Hills with friends, in meetings with others interested in 
talking over philosophical ideas, and at the small cocktail and garden parties that contin- 
ued as before, but now were also a way to maintain morale. They kept their established 
rhythm — tea at 5 o'clock, often preceded by walks. And, when the Institut de Geo-Biolo- 
gie moved within a short distance of Lucile's house, Teilhard no longer had to hurry off 
shortly after six to be in the Jesuit quarters before the gates were closed. 

On looking back, Lucile admitted that she stayed on in Peking long after she was 
warned to leave, because it was such a happy time for her, even though open hostilities 
with the Japanese seemed immanent. At last she decided that she must go back to the U.S. 


The Letters of the Long Separation: 
from 1941 to 1948 

Lucile Swan's friends gathered on August 8, 1941, at the Peking railway station to 
bid her farewell sadly as she began the long trip back to the States. Many of the 
British and American nationals had already departed, leaving behind a coterie of 
mainly Europeans whose countries were either neutral or occupied by the Axis 
powers. Both Teilhard and Lucile expected to meet again soon, if he could get a 
U.S. visa. 

In September, Teilhard's colleague and friend, Pierre Leroy, returned from 
Indo-China where he had been working. The two Jesuits lived together and 
worked together in Peking throughout the war years, mostly on fossils and infor- 
mation from Chou Kuo Tien. During this period, Teilhard also met regularly at 
the Wilhelms to discuss religions East and West. He also met with other friends to 
talk over ideas and current events. 

Peking, SaoUt, 1941. 

Lucile, dearest, 

I scarcely can realize that you are leaving today. And I still less realize 
that tomorrow Peking will be for me without you. But I want you to know that, 
above any sense of loneliness, I will feel stronger, in all directions, than when we 
landed here two years ago. — These two precious years of constant presence and 
uninterrupted mutual confidence have certainly achieved and sealed our friend' 
ship. This friendship is now strong enough to face everything, and to grow 
through. — As I told you these last days, I think that our dominant disposition 
has to be a stubborn and loving "confiance" in the Future. New experience and 
new environment are a universal condition of progress. — Thanks to you, I see 
more definitely what I believe, and what I have to fight for. I am convinced that 
your going to America is just a providential and necessary step in the construc- 
tive convergency of our lives. Go ahead in full peace, joy and hope. 

Herewith I enclose a copy of the only "pious" object left, since years, on 
my working table. Hope you will not think it too much "roman-catholic". For me 
this quite simple illustration is a vague representation of the universal "foyer" of 
attraction which we are aiming for. In this atmosphere we can always love each 
other more and better. 

Ever yours (et au revoir) ! 





The "pious" object was a postcard-size picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that Teilhard 
had brought from his home in the Auvergne. 

Institut de Geo-Biologie I Rue Labrousse I Peking, August 11 1941 

Lucile dear, 

May these few lines reach Shanghai before you leave China, to bring you 
something of the deep of my heart! God bless you again and again for what you 
gave me since twelve years, and more specially during these last months! - And 
may we be together again — very soon. — 

Here, I am still a little "ahuri" [bewildered] to be without you. Fortu- 
nately, I have been quite nicely entertained by friends, during these two days. 
After you left, Friday, Tillie and Eleanor took me with them for tea. On Saturday 
evening, I went to Raphael. And yesterday I had lunch with the d'Anjou at Pao 
Ma Chang (Mme d'Anjou invited me, when you left, on the platform; she is cer- 
tainly a sweet person). — I went to Pao Ma Chang in the Houghton's car. The 
whole d'Anjou family was there: they are so fond of each other that one forgets, 
or even likes, in them everything. — Today, the week begins without you. I do not 
mind any more to see the days passing too fast, now. — Just now I have to go to 
Vetch for the question of publications. Such a luck to have them to keep me busy! 
— As soon as the rush is over, I am decided to begin "L'atomisme de I'Esprit". — 
The "egg" is ripe by now, I think. — To write it will [make] me feel closer to you. 

Be happy — dearest — 

Everything is all right, — but I miss you. 


P.S. - Address your letters as before to the PUMC (anatomy) 








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Nirgidima of Torhout, princess of Mongolia. 
Portrait sculpture made by Lucile Swan in China. 

Institut de Geo-Biologie THEIR 
Rue Labrousse MM-* 8 
Peking, August 27, 1941 OTTERS 

Lucile dear, 245 

It seems that a President [a Dollar ship] is going to leave Shanghai by 
Septl. So I must try my chance to answer your two precious letters, sent before 
the departure of the Coolidge. I had sent a few lines by air-mail to you on the 
Coolidge. Did you receive them? 

And now begins seriously for me the period of an "isolated" life. You were 
right, and I experience it The difficult time is not so much the first two weeks 
after the separation. After a while, one accumulates the need of being together 
again — to exchange and fecundate life. We had two years so completely for our- 
selves! — Well, it will be still better and "vitalizing' to be together again. 

Since your departure, Peking has still succeeded in getting more empty 
than it was. Two days ago lilUe has left, almost abruptly, by the Kaiping (Colo- 
nel Mayer was anxious to get her lout] as soon as possible), — and Eleanor went 
by the same train to Peitaho. Mrs Margetts takes the house. But this is another 
trace, which disappears, of your presence. Billy Christian was often there, the last 
days — and he gave me direct news of you, in Shanghai. — Besides I have seen a 
good deal the Burcharts when Otto was in the P.U.M.C. (in the very room occu- 
pied this winter by Col. Mayer) — and I have quite appreciated them (although 
rather egoistic, the way he worships her is touching). Now Otto is back home; it 
seems that Loucks found how to handle him. — Raphael is expecting his wife 
back on Sept. 1. In spite of the restrictions, he seems to have gazoline; but I could 
not persuade him lately to go to the Hills — which I miss (although I know per- 
fectly that they will seem empty to me when I see them again). One reason he did 
not like to go to the country on Sunday, last weeks, is that he feels tired by his 
double work at the Tramcars Co. and in the Bank. — Jacques, luckily, is due back 
in a few days (according to Tillie, he will keep the same house, east ofHatamen, 
as the last year). — The Embassy is rather empty. Two days ago I had a lunch 
there with an interesting french colonel of aviation, who has fought the whole 
Battle of France, last year. A fine man — and somebody so different from what 
one hears from Vichy. He told me that during the french retreat, the number of the 
germans airplanes sent down by french fighters were three against one! This idea 
that we were defeated much less easily than generally thought is also expressed 
in a letter of my brother Joseph (28 may) received last week. He is, as usually, ter- 
ribly conservative and anti-British in his appreciations — • but this was before the 
russian war. On the whole, and although he confesses the loss of several pounds, 
the "ton" [tone] of the letter is not depressed at all, - and he seems especially 
proud and hopeful as far as the development of his fields in Auvergne is con- 

By the same mail I received a very nice letter ofNirgidma (15 June), who 
had well received our letters, sent this spring. Very few details on her life, in fact 
(on purpose, I think). Michel is somewhere, I understand, on British ground. — 
She sees the Begouen, who are all right, she says, except that Max exhausts him- 
self on bicycle. And that is practically all. But she was happy, clearly, that we did 

TEIUMRD not forget her. Try to write her again. From America it is so simple. — 

& LUCILE Besides, and except for 5-8 p.m., the routine of my life is the same. Work 

CORRESPOND . . ^ . , - ^ j ' , . In* a<l • * 

helps time to go fast. Dr. de Terras paper ts now practically out — and the print" 

146 lw £ °f m V own P a P er °* F.arly Man in China is going to start these very days. On 

the other hand, the memoir on Choukoutien (Deer and Rodents) is already printed 

for a third, and going fast. Proofs are pouring from everywhere; — and at the 

same time I am deep in the Beavers world (a new memoir started at the Lockart 

Hall). — I have also begun, shortly after you left, writing "L'atomisme de 

I'Esprit" — an "egg' it will he of normal size. By the end of September, probably, 

1 will send you a copy. 

Leroy too wrote me (middle of July). He was in very good shape — but 
without any marked scientific results. I expect him before October, unless he gets 
in some trouble with the boats. — lam afraid he will find the life of Peking dull; 
but I shall be glad to see him back. — 

At Grabau's, the house is more and more, it seems, under the domination 
of the Flying Angel. Mother India had to leave (it seems?) — and Truda is search- 
ing hard for another job (did you know that she has in hands a written guarantee 
of Dr. Grabau that he will take care of her as long as she is in China?). Now that 
the Tillie's house is closed, I will probably go to the Z'ou ya fsai Hutung next 
Sunday. But I have some feeling that 1 am not "persona grata" there any more. 

Good bye, dearest. — The gossips are exhausted, pour cettefois. — But it 
remains me to tell you how happy I was that you liked my last letter, and even 
the picture contained in this letter. — Let us go on closer and closer together in a 
better discovery of the light and the hearth of God, at the deep centre of every- 
thing is beauty and truth. 



Hope you have found everything all right in your family! 

Institut de Geo-Biologie 

Rue Labrousse 

Peking, 9 sept. 1941 


My last letter was written on Aug. 26. 1 hope you have received it. This 
new one I send you in the hope that it will catch a President in the middle of the 
month. By this time, you must be safely and pleasantly settled in Berkeley. Have 
a good time! I am sure that the physical and moral atmosphere of the States is 
just acting on you as the rising tide on the sea-weeds along the shore. 

So far I am concerned, not much to say. I still miss you — and in some 
way still more. And at the same time, I feel as if your presence was expanding 
steadily in my life, because 1 realize better (and enjoy) the place you have taken, 
and hold for ever, in me. An expanding and deepening presence, — and animating, 
too for further progress: 1 am sure you experience the same thing also. And I bless 
God for the two years he gave us for achieving that. 

Externally, life is essentially the same here. Leroy reappeared, a week ago THEIR 
(quite all right, and well relaxed), and Mrs. R. too. In fact, the boats are so rare 194 l-48 
with Satgon that they were practically forced to the happy condition to come 
hack together. She looks almost fat, and had a grand time (in spite of the invad- ^47 
ers) with the Corsican colony of Indo-China. I am glad to have Leroy here again. 
We have started immediately the usual talks. We are planning new publications. 
And in the meantimes we hope (in spite of the reduction ofgazoline) to go to the 
Hills next Sunday. The weather is splendid: a beautiful autumn has begun since 
the middle of august. You would enjoy it. — 

Work is going on. The de Terra's paper is out, well printed; — and I got 
today the IqsL proofs of my Memoir on the Deers. On the other hand, the printing 
of "Early Man" is started, or practically so. These last days, I was simply merged 
in the proofs! - During the first morning hours, I proceed also in the redaction of 
"Vatomisme de VEsprit", almost finished now. I hope it is good. But I must first 
type it before I can really appreciate it (40-50 pp., approximately). At the Lockart 
Hall, I am, as usually, busy with various types of Rodents. — The difference is 
that I stay longer now in the office (up to 6 p.m., often). — After that, I go to the 
Grand Hotel to talk with Vetch, — or, if possible, I call on some friends: the Bar- 
dac, or the Burchart (more or less once the week). — Jacques keeps his house, for- 
tunately. With Otto B. we are great friends now. He still has fever and "tommy's" 
troubles, and today he felt low, and Poney was a little depressed. He has finally 
started writing a book, with a secretary: a good thing for him. — Last Sunday, I 
went to Grabau. The "angel" flew at my first appearance, so that the visit was 
quite normal. In fact, Truda is nothing more in the house now except a conti- 
nously scolded "servante" — a situation which makes Pei himself angry. Truda is 
searching a way to get out — but to find a shelter and a job is not easy, now. In 
the meantimes nobody can turn her out of the house, since she has (in a safe place) 
a paper signed by Grabau. An impossible situation. 

People will soon come back from Peitaho. Mme Cosme and Eleanor this 
week, and probably many more. — J told you that I had received a good answer 
from Nirgidma. A few days ago came a long letter of Ella Maillart, from South 
India. She is deep in her initiation to India wisdom — and so serious in her 
efforts to find God! "fe sens qu'il n'y a que Dieu qui existe reellement, queje suis 
en lui autant qu'il est en moi (quoiqueje ne I'ai pas encore vu)". The last sentence 
is so charmingly candid, do you not think? I was quite moved. — 

Good bye, dearest. I go to bed. - A bientot the next letter. 


Institut de Geo-Biologie 

Rue Labrousse 

Peking, Sept 27, 1941 


I have received, two days ago, your precious letter from Honolulu (but 
not yet the one sent by Clipper). It was so good to read you, - and almost to hear 
you again. Now I suppose that you are in Chicago, - facing a new life. Today, 

TEllHARD Eleanor told me that she had heard that the famous transport was leaving Ching- 
&LUCILE wan f ao these very days. So, you may hope for your boxes. I hope so much that 
you have found your family all right, and that you can make interesting plans for 
US yourself 

Here, things are going on approximately the same way; — but that makes 
such a difference for me not to have you, dearest, to tell and divide everything . So 
many things I have to keep for myself, now; and so many things, probably, which 
do not get born in my mind because you are not there to give me (as Grabau 
would say) the "internal impetus" 1 . — And yet your influence is still with me, and 
the most essential part of the impetus too. — I hope to be worth of you, Lucile, 
and of so much you gave me. This thought makes me stronger, and gives me a 
great sweetness, also. 

Publications are going on normally. The Memoir on OCT will soon be 
out; — and I am typing the last pages of "L'atomisme de VEsprit" (some 40 
pages). Rather good, I think; — but not so "final", perhaps, as I hoped. You know 
this feeling. I will probably ask Mile. Barbier to retype 3 or four copies — and 
send you one. — The paper on Early Man is in the Peitfang press since 3 weeks — 
but they are so slow there. Not a single proof, so far! - Next week 1 will advance 
steadily (with Leroy) the famous "List of Chinese Fossil Mammals", which has 
improved a lot since the first "ebauches" [draft or rough cast] we had made of it a 
year ago. — As a result of some letters and cables recently arrived from NX, 
Houghton seems quite optimistic about the future of the Cenozoic Lab. — I think 
we are practically sure, now, to be kept alive, and eventually to come back to full 
life, - as soon as the political events will make it possible. 

In town, life has been more active recently, on account of the end of the 
Peitaho season, and because several people (french) came from Shangai to enjoy 
the Pekinese autumn. The Guillaume are leaving for Chunking next week (shz will 
be back after a month); but the Lagos have to postpone their trip because shs. has 
got a pleuritis when leaving Peitaho. — She is better now. — Mme Baudet leaves 
tomorrow, with the little girl (to Chunking too). Jeanne Mollart writes pitiful 
letters from Hankow: she dislikes the place, and gets nervous about the condi- 
tions, on account of her expected baby: no good doctors, no pharmaceutical sup- 
plies of any kind. I am sorry for her. — Eleanor is now settled in the Bob's house, 
— quiet and quite nicely transformed. The big yellow cat ("Brother") and the lit- 
tle dog are excellent friends. — Eleanor seems to be, as before, quite popular with 
the american colony. Today she had lunch with Brice (who leaves tomorrow, with 
H. Cruchfield), and Billy Christian, still fighting for his factories. — But you will 
get directly all these news from Arthur Ringwalt who proposed me kindly to take 
this letter, and plans to see you in Chicago. He will tell you everything about the 
kidnapping of Mrs. Clark (in your very Hutung, near Agnes Black) — and the 
tragic death of the "Erica"'s husband, burnt by an explosion of ether, when pre- 
paring dope. — Claire Hirschberg was quite "shaked" morally by this misfortune 
of her friend; she is a good and practical girl. — At Grabau % the Angel is defi- 
nitely the mistress of the house. It seems that Truda will continue her secretary 
work, but have an appartment in town (this was decided by Grabau himself, in a 

written message to Truda, who jumped on the opportunity. The appartment was THEIR 
found by Germaine, whom I did not yet see). — 1941-48 

Rue Labrousse, everything is peaceful (but not broader!). Roi has left for 
Tientsin and Shanghai. With Leroy, we are making the same good team, — and, ^ 
as before, we see much of the Raphael. In spite of the scarcity ofgazoline, I went 
several times to the Hills: once with the Raphael (to the Bishop's Mine, you 
remember the cold?); another time in a hired car, with Leroy, E Matthews, Pei and 
Truda (!). We were searching (and we found) a site of fossil Plants behind the 2d 
Patachu temple. Now, Matthews has something to work on. — Next Sunday 
(tomorrow, in fact), we are invited to the Tillie's temple, by Mme Cosme. That 
makes me a little "blue" to see the place again without Ttllie and without you. — 

Good bye, dearest. - It is late in the night, — and I must bring this to 
Arthur {RingwaltJ tomorrow. 

Be happy, and God bless you 



Institut de Geo-Biologie 

Rue Labrousse 

Peking October 17 1941 


I have received with great joy, a few days ago, your sweet letter from Ber- 
keley. Now, you must be in Chicago, busy and "domestic". 1 hope that, very soon, 
you will be free again to be "yourself. I am much interested about what you are 
experiencing and thinking. Don't forget that, for the time being, yon are my con- 
nection with the western (that is with the real world). Nous vivons toujours "a 
deux", n'est-ce pas? 

Here, life is going on, rather the same. And, tomorrow, I am beginning my 
"retraite" (do you remember the wall, just a year ago?). During these eight days, 
because I will try to be closer to the great Center of Love, you will be closer of me, 
too. You gave, and you give me, so much — and so much of life, Lucile. God bless 
you, and make you strong and happy, dear! — / would like, this week, to discover 
how to concentrate, better and more efficiently, my life on the only aim which 
counts for me, more and more: the awakening in our world, of a better under- 
standing of Matter and Spirit, as they pass in each other in the brain and the 
heart of Man. We had long talks with Leroy on these things, lately. And the 
famous paper on Chastete was unearthed from your leather-box for thorough dis- 
cussion. Really, I believe that, deeper than the political convulsions of today, a 
thorough revolution is fermentating in the religious zones of our Universe. How 
to help it for the best? — In a week, I will send you a copy of the "Atomisme de 
VEsprit". I must have it typed once more in order to have a sufficient number of 
copies. — 

From the scientific point of view, things are proceding slowly, but favor- 
ably. I have received, at last, the first proofs of Early Man in China; and the "Cat- 
alogue of Fossil Chinese Mammals" reaches its final stage of preparation. 





Besides, in spite of the scarcity ofgazoline, I have been every Sunday to the Hills, 
mostly with the Raphael's, who prove more and more to be delightful friends. 
Once, we went to Papaoshan (yellow leaves, instead of pink flowers), and I took 
(alone!) a part of the walk we made together in the spring;— and, somewhat, you 
still walked with me. —A week ago (afriday), we borrowed ourselves a car, took 
along Eleanor and Mr. Wright (a newcomer, student of Harvard, quite pleasing — 
speaking exactly like Movius, and we went to Fahaissu; then I made the section 
between Fahaissu and Patachu, following the foot of the Hills — along the path 
you know well (as you told me). — And you were there, too. - 

In town, I go from time to time to the Burchart and to Eleanor. Otto is on 
his bed, as before, most of the time — but he seems to buy a good number of beau- 
tiful pieces (partly for Komor, it seems — who did not yet get his boxes, detained 
in Japan). Poney told me to send you her most affectuous regards. — Eleanor has 
quite metamorphosed the Bob's interior — very nicely, I think. She seems to have 
a good number of admiring friends, and looks well "entrain". She plans to work 
for herself this winter (perhaps translating in english the book of her father on 
Thibet). — The Raphael's had finally to leave their house, and are now (since 
today!) located Nan-ho-yen, in the northern-most house of the Schuhmaker's, 
just opposite Ta Tien Shui Ching. They had already a lot of discussion with Mrs. 
Schuhmaker, but take it with a full sense of humour. Mrs. Raphael has decided 
that she liked extremely to "demenager" from time to time, — and she is fond of 
the new appartment. It seems that, after a few months, they will move again to 
the former house of the Mayer's (Rue Labrousse); Garrido has decided to leave the 
place. Paul Doncoeur is still in Kunming. The wound left by his operation seems 
to be long to heal. He is expected here, for rest. — 

Tou-ya-ts'ai hutung is definitely under the rule of the Flying Angel. Truda 
goes there every morning to do secretary work — and has her evening free. She has 
found a small, provisional, appartment East of Hatamen str., not far from 
Nystrom. She looks like a free bird. I must say that since weeks, I did not pay 
myself any visit to Amadeus. I must go there the next free Sunday. - 

So far, I did not start the "demarches" for the American Visa. You will 
scold me, I know. - The trouble is that, when I come to the facts, I do not know 
finally whom I shall trouble to be my "sponsors". - Immediately after my retreat, 
however, I will go to the American Embassy, and try to reach a decision. 

Now, I go to Vetch to discuss publications matter, - and I will mail this 
letter in the Hotel. 

Good bye, dearest 


I have well received the letter sent by Clipper. 

Sometime in late October or early November of 1941, Lucile wrote a long letter to Teilhard. 
It did not reach him. Apparently their friend, Arthur Ringwalt, was not able to pick it up in 
Chicago for hand delivery in China, as originally planned. The uncorrected, undated car- 
bon was among Lucile's papers. 

[carbon copy / undelivered letter] THEIR 
Dearest, - LETTERS 

Arthur Ringwalt has offered to take this, he is soon returning to Chungking, so I 
feel as if this letter may really reach you and there is so much to say I don't know where to 151 
start!! I wrote to you in October and again in December, but of course I have no idea if you 
redd them . . / repeat that I received your precious letter sent by Grimpsholm and have 
read and reread it until it is almost worn out!! It was written almost 8 months ago, but I 

believe the things it says are still true, I hope so and that you are able to go on working 

. . / wonder what material you have for scientific work . . and if there have not been some 
more "eggs" by this time . . You must have a great deal of time to THINK . . and with the 
conditions of the world what they are, surely it has also made you question the methods of 
the church etc. The TRUTH is there and Christ is just the same ...but the way his follow- 
ers have allowed his teaching to be interpreted and taught!!!!! At least that seems to me 
where the trouble is... I have just been reading an interesting book "Ten Great Religions" 
...and he compares them . . and it is so fascinating to see how MUCH they are alike. At 
least the feelings which prompted them were so much the same . . All of which should make 
the establishment of a Universal Religion so much easier!! 

Well well how serious I am at the very start!!! when there are thousands of less 
"universal" but also very important things that I want to say to you ..If I don't write in 
detail I'm sure you understand that it is very difficult to write freely when I have no idea 
how many people are going to read this before it gets to you!! So for the more personal 
things, you must try to remember things said in the past ...and then multiply them by all 
the hundreds of days that we have been separated. Precious Teilhard . . Precious Pierre. 
You are with me so strongly all the time . . and you make life always more beautiful. 

My life goes on much the same . . My family needs me so much, so here I am and 
with world conditions what they are, I'm really very well off.. I told you of my nice little 
studio right back of the house . . . which is my life saver for there I can be myself. . I work 
every morning, usually go for a walk in the afternoon and read in the evening . . some- 
thing like Peking . . . only the high point of five O'clock, is not here .Ago out some, tho 
not much . . I really have few friends in Chicago . . Young Mary Wood is drawing with me 
3 mornings a week and that is a great joy ..she is so alive and intelligent and sweet and is 
doing VERY well with her work. My own work is moving . . I've almost finished my 
"Temptation of the Lord" . . have spent weeks working on the face of Christ . . and of 
course it really does not satisfy me yet . . but the whole is not bad... now I'm doing a life 
sized head in Mahogany . . . Mary posed for the sketch '.". . but it isn't really a portrait of 
her... I may go down to the Art Institute next month to do some work in stone . . an old 
friend has charge of that department and he can help me a lot. My New York exhibit has 
not materialized . . . I have not pushed the thing as the times are so bad for exhibitions . . 
however things are still "open" in several directions ...We have had such a bad winter . . 
so much dull dark days and snow ..It has been snowing all day . . However I shall proba- 
bly go out as I'm invited to a small cocktail party at a young painter and wife . . and I 
want to get to know them better . . . Maybe if the weather clears up I'll be more enthusastic 
about exhibits. But it is expensive, so I would just as soon wait until the times are a bit 
more propitious, and the actual work I'm doing, is growing better. / think? ? and hope. 

Now for gossip . . Tillie is in Washington living in a small room!!! not a big 
house with a temple in the Hills . . and working hard, but she seems very cheerful. 
Bosshard is now in Washington, trying to find an apartment . . the Baudets are there . . . 

TEILHAKD so many old friends . . the Petros also . . Petro is an officer in the British army doing liai- 

& LUCILE $on wor j c Tfo q i Mayers have just bought a house there . . Isabel was here far the day 

recently and gave me lots of news. Ida Treat was busy with passports the last I heard, 

152 finally going t° England . . I've not heard if she was successful ...I hear now and then 
from Ernestine Evans . . whom I saw in NY last spring . . Nathalie is living in Los Ange- 
les where her husband is doing work for one of the big airplane works . . she sent me some 
photos of that picnic we had with them in New Hampshire . . remember? they are so good. 
I would send one but I don't think it would ever get there . . . Mayo has had two parts in 
movies!! I do not know what the last picture is but he has the part of Henry 8th which 
should suit him fine!!! I think he is very happy . . Poor Rose and Michael have been on 
tenter hooks lately as he is due for the draft . . He is now in Washington where Jim lives, 
and will probably something settled . . Jim is now with the Red Cross. Mile Saizeau is still 
here ..she has sent a lot of her things to Komor who is selling them on commission . . and 
has had some success . . Mile is now trying to get a job here is not so simple as she has 
no training. I do hope she will find something ..Iseeher every week or two; I am her con- 
nection with Peking and also with les plresUl she is a curious person and I'm afraid life is 
not very easy for her ...but she really has a philosophy or religion that helps her ..and I 
am very glad that Pbre Leroy has been a great help and inspiration far her. He is her 

So many of the things I've been reading lately, Hooton, Carrel etc make me think 
more and more of the Institute of Man . . a short time ago I wrote to Ralph Linton and 
asked him to let me know if he hears anything at all definite about such a project . . He 
should be in a position to hear if there is anything doing . . He is now head of Anthropol- 
ogy at Columbia. Boaz died recently. So my dear I will certainly advise you if I get any 
news and I'll always manage to get in touch somehow with the people here, just to find out 
what is what . . maybe not directly MYSELF, but through some friend ..for I do so want 
you to work with such an institution ..and I am quite sure that that is also where your 
own interest lies . . The war is bringing out many interesting things . . and one of them is 
our great NEED for religion and to a certain extent the churchs have surely failed . . How 
terribly they need a renaissance . . especially yours . . The most interesting things, ideas, 
schemes, hopes, have come out of the Church of England . . The new Archbishop ofCante- 
bury is really awake to the PRESENT world and I'm sure would agree with the final sen- 
tence of your last letter re. doing away with ALL barriers. There are lots of people and 
organizations who are really working in that direction. I keep a lot of clippings for you!! 
afraid they will be a bit out of date before you ever get them. But the idea of WORLD orga- 
nizations is surely alive and I think, growing. I won't go into more detail, but be sure I am 
doing my best to be alive to all this and that am always thinking of how and where your 
teaching can be used . .far Pierre I am more and more sure that your ideas are what we 
need. (I hope this does not sound stupid or as if I were putting myself up, but I'm sure you 
understand and know how completely I believe in you.) Your scientific work gives the rest 
such a solid background . . well be sure that you are not forgotten and that when the time 
comes there will be a place for you . . and the time IS coming . . of that I am more and more 

I've been reading Petro's Life ofG.T which is most interesting ...and makes you 
seem more and more of a miracle!! Oh I do wish I could know how life is with you now . . I 
imagine more or less the same, tho more difficult, expensive and probably not much of any 

social life, that is not MANY cocktail parties!! Tillie wrote . . "Oh what would I not give THEIR 
for a tea with les bons Pires" . . and wouldn't we all... well it will happen somewhere and 19 *l-48 


I hope before VERY VERY long. . LtITtKS 

/ do wonder how much news you get there, I suppose you are in touch with i$$ 
things . . and must have been very excited with all that has been happening to your awn 
countrymen . .lean imagine Raphael being especially interested . . and Francoise . . do 
give them my warm greetings . . also to all the other old friends . . Burchards, Truda, Ger- 
maine, Grabau(?) Helen Burton, Ruth Kunkle, Prentice!!! et al!! 

I wrote you that Nirjidma is in London with her husband . . I have had no further 
news from her. People here send their letters around to other friends, so I had news of Bob 
Drummond who is in Kunming and well. I just had a telegram from Nathalie inviting me 
out to stay a month or two with her ..It sounds tempting as we have had a beastly winter 
and there is a regular blizzard now . .but I can't get away . . My parents are about the 
same, up every day . . but my maid does not come Thursday dinner nor Sunday, so I have 
to be here, and I am very fortunate to have any maid, and mine is good . . . Father is decid- 
edly much more feeble but pretty well ..It is so fortunate that I am here. I am getting more 
used to the place and have worked out a pretty good life for myself. . as long as I have this 
place where I can be alone to work, it is O.K. I go to the Symphony concert often and tell 
Leroy I think of how much he would enjoy it and wish he could be there too.. I do miss my 
friends who are mostly in the east, either Washington or New York . . however I can work 
here and am really happy ..and I read a lot and tr± to think!! and some very good things 
have happened tome . .1 mean I FEEL the love of God . . it has become something very 
real, especially as manifested in Christ very passionately a vital part of me., and I got so 
much from Saizeau Yoga books!! Most of the church books are so complicated and seem to 
be so much more interested in dogma than in love . . they give me almost nothing . . per- 
haps they help, if you do not NEED help . . but they are very unsatisfactory if you are 
seeking . . Just as your talks have given me so much more than any thing else . . oh how 
grateful I am to you. .. 

And PTlam also so grateful to you for being you . . how much we laughed!! and 
the long walks we had, how MUCH I do miss it all ..but I also feel sure that we will be 
together again . . if you ever have any plans for the future, or even desires I wish you 
would tell me. . . . if possible!!! Of course that is difficult, but still you probably know 
what you would like to do and where you want to be.. I feel pretty sure you will want to 
be in this part of the world . . and this is where you will be most needed. . 

It makes me feel so close to you just writing and I long to say lots of things which 
I suppose I better not . . but you must be able to read my heart and see how full it is of love 
and how completely that love is full of you, my dear precious friend. 

[Stamped RETURN TO SENDER / SERVICE SUSPENDED, 2430 Orchard Street 

this letter was later returned to Lucile.J Chicago, Illinois 

November 26, 1941. 

Pierre dearest,- 

It is hard to know whether to write or not? If your plans have gone on as they 
were when I left, you should soon be on your way to America!! But if something has hap- 
pened to change them, then I do want to have a letter on the way to you . .so here goes 
anyway . . . Also these days when it seems as if there might be more war any day, it is a 

TEILHAKD problem to know if letters will ever get anywhere . . / know just how you feel about writing 
& LUCILE to France . . But the strange thing is, that letters DO get through and eventually reach 
their destination ...and Pierre if my letters are as welcome to you as yours are tome. . 
254 then it is more than worth trying. . 

Well I have been out in Iowa since I last wrote to you . . and it surely was a very 
good thing to do.. I only stayed a few days ..but I made a speech to the ladies who had 
sponsored the exhibit ..and I was invited out all the time . . and everyone was very enthu- 
siastic about the things . . I've sold some drawings, but as yet I've not heard of any sculp- 
ture!! But the exhibit will last two weeks more . . The gallery is a government affair . . and 
the young man who runs it was So enthusiastic about my things . . said my show had 
done so much to raise the standard of the place etc. etc . . all of which was very pleasing 
AND stimulating tome.. I found it gave me a great deal of pleasure to feel that I had been 
able to help along that little project . .funny, I always said I did not have a bit of mission- 
ary about me . . and yet I always get a great kick out of some thing which is definitely mis- 
sionary!!!! Anyway it gave me a lift . . which I sorely needed as things here were 
beginning to get on my nerves terribly . . 

When I got home the maid had to go to bed sick . . then Dad went to the hospital . 
. - nothing serious, just for a rest and check up., so I was on the job all the time . . but now 
that is OK. .the cook is back and I have really gotten to work again . . the ivory is pro- 
gressing well . . but it is very slow ..and I like it so much that I don't mind taking lots of 
time to it . . I've also started that other piece of wood . . "Brotherhood of Man " idea . . With 
a few hours work every morning, it does not matter so much what I do the rest of the day . 
. I see very few people, as I have to take Mother to the Dr. 3 times a week etc. etc . . but all 
this won't last for ever . . and I really don't mind . . But, oh Pierre, I do so miss your 
talks!! and I DO DO DO miss you! I talked to Rose over the phone yesterday . . she has 
finished going over that translation and I am going down there in a few days, so we can go 
over it together . . she said there were not many places to change . . just a few where the 
English was too French in construction . . Last evening I felt the need of you very much . . 
so I read some of Julian Huxley . . and Pierre, that paper of yours " Man from a Paleontol- 
o gist, etc " is SO SO much better . . clearer, and of course you go so much further than he 
does ..Oh we really MUST publish that . . I hope " L'atomisme de I" esprit " is on the way 
tome., and what are you doing now? and is some neiu egg stiring around in your mind? 
I wonder when we will be able to talk these things again. 

Sure we shall . . but we are two of many millions of people who are not doing just 
what they want to do these days . . and it simply can't last for ever!!! But I do so wonder 
what you have decided to do about coming over here ..lam waiting to make my plans for 
going East until I hear from you, so I do hope you have told me . . and, dearest, you know I 
will understand, what ever you decide to do.. It would be SO marvelous to see you . . but 
I don't allow myself to dwell on that — yet. 

Pierre, these last two years really did do a very great deal for us, I realize it more 
all the time . . There is so much more calm sureness within me . . and yet always the light 
of your presence which stimulates me to do and to try to do always more . . and at the same 
time to get much out of whatever I HAVE to do at the time . . dearest you are SO precious 
. . You don't know what JOY it gives me when you tell me that I have helped you!! Pre- 
cious Teilhard!! 

/ don't say a word about the war, etc . . what is there to say? And conditions may THEIR 
all be changed before this gets over there to you!! 1941-48 

I was so disappointed not to see Arthur Ringwalt . . either he could not find us 
(some of the clerks at the hotel are very stupid) or he did not stay over here . . He probably 155 
could have told me so much about your plans . . but maybe not!! 

It must be quite a blow to Eleanor that the Marines are going to leave . Ado 
wonder what life is like there now . . it must be rather quiet . . Mariann Clubb had just 
heard from Edmond that he has been transferred, at least for the winter, to Hanoi . . prices 
in Shanghai sounded AWFUL . . coal $800. a ton., how are things with you? and are you 
having my trouble getting stuff? DO you still go to the Hills?. I bought a pair of shoes for 
HUl climbing ..luse them sometimes for a long walk in the Park!! It gave me a kick just 
to buy them. 

Pierre, if you are going to be therefor sometime more, please don't wait until you 
hear about a boat, they DO come . . unless by that time we are at war with Japan . . I 
STILL don't think we will be, but I may be wrong . . The world seems to be mad enough to 
do anything nowadays . . 

Tonight Im going down to have dinner with young Mary Wood Erskine . . she 
was so interested to have news of Jacques . . am glad he is there, as long as you enjoy 
him!!!! But It must be very good to have Leroy there, and I can imagine that you are work- 
ing well together he more satisfied . . or still restless? and have you any more news of 

The last letter from you was of Sept 27 that Arthur brought . . they seem to come 
only once a month . . so here's hoping for something in a short time. 

Thank you, dearest, for everything that you are and that you give tome.. 

My deepest love to you dear 


And greetings to Leroy - Raphaels - Eleanore - also Truda, Pei etc - and how is the Grabau 

November 26, 1942 

just a year ago we went to the Hills to Tillie's temple with her and Eleanore, Bob 
Arthur and Paul Boncoeur!!! It seems so close and at the same time as if it belongs to 
another life . . and it almost does, perhaps things don't seem to have changed much to you 
who are still there doing much the same things, but I really do think a great change has 
started . . of course it started ages ago, but the present war conditions are steaming every- 
thing up... and oh my dear how I do wish you were here to be a part of it . . . perhaps you 
can get a perspective by being there .. but I think you need to fed what the people are feel- 
ing HERE and I can't even write it to you with any sureness that you will ever receive my 

And even if I could what to say? I agree with your last precious letter which came 
just a weekago, that of Oct. 17. where you say that the religious revolution is even greater 
than the political one today . . Everywhere you meet it . . BUT I do not think that the 
churches are going to be the ones to give the solution . . The fresh impetus is coming from 

TEIWARD OUTSIDE the church . .Oh how I would like to see you, not as the religious timidly 
& LUCILE (i, ecau$e of pressure) defending your religion through science ...but as the scientist who 
proclaims his religion BECAUSE of science!! Oh how much stronger and how much more 
255 influential would be your position in the world. And if the church couldn't take it, it 
would be too bad, she is going to have to take a great deal more than that before the 
upheaval is finished . . Your method of the SLOW evolution within the church MIGHT 
have worked 100 yrs ago, but not today ..we are living in a ruthless age, and in order to 
be heard so that you can help, in order to make your voice heard above the triumphant 
shouts of the destroyers, you too must shout, and NOT hide your LIGHT under a bushel!! 
Oh FT how I do want to talk to you, NOW. It is shortly after 5 PM.H and here am I and 
there are you.!! 

And how am I going to get this to you? and what is happening to you there in 
your safe and sheltered life?? what are your associates thinking (IF they think). But I 
always think of you as the most deeply spiritual scientist, a GREAT scientist . . But this 
has all been said before!! But it is still true and I believe in you so strongly that I'm sure a 
WAY will come where you can be fully your wise and beautiful and influential self, who 
can help to show that way to innumerable other searchers . . It must come, the present con- 
dition is too too wasteful! 

Only two of Teilhard's wartime letters eventually reached Lucile in the U.S. Both came 
from Peking, a year apart; the first in the spring of 1942. Meanwhile, Japanese troops were 
in Lashio (they had already seized Hong Kong) and had cut the Burma Road. The situation 
in China was tense — for the Chinese and for the stranded internationals. 

Institutde Geo-Biologie 

Rue Labrousse 

Peking, May 31, 1942 

Lucile, dearest, 

Will this letter ever reach you, and when? In any case, I must try my 
chance, and the "diplomatic boat! 1 . After these months of complete separation 
and silence, I must try to let you know that I remain yours, and that I do my 
best to remain exactly and entirely what you wish and want me to be. I am so 
sure, for my part, that you are still the same, and even more! — But I would like 
so much to know what you are doing and thinking in these extraordinary times. 
— I miss you in my heart, — and in my mind too. I was thinking in you, and 
through you — you know it. And, because you are not here, I have sometimes the 
feeling that my thoughts do not mature in the same way, as before, when I could 
search myself in you. — Well, on the whole, I am glad, nevertheless, that you 
have left Peking just in time. Life would not have been easy for you, these days. 
For myself (being not a national enemy — who knows what the French are, 
today?), existence remains somewhat dull, but possible. Since the famous 8th of 
December, the closure of the P.U.M.C. (I cannot pass its gates without a pang in 
my heart) has radically changed my life. By now, 1 am exclusively working Rue 
Labrousse — busy with the redaction of the last papers which I would like to 
finish as a closure of my work in China. Since you left, I have published a Mem- 
oir in Palaeontologia Sinica (in October) — and a rather good "Early Man in 

China", in our own publications. Another interesting book (Catalogue of the THEIR 
Fossil Mammals of China) is almost finished printing in Shanghai; — and 1941 '^ 8 
another volume (on Chinese Rodents) will immediately follow, provided we find 
the money. In addition, four "eggs" more have appeared this winter, following 257 
"L'atomisme de VEsprit", which I sent you in October, but which you probably 
never received. — Just now, I am writing nothing more in this line. I need some 
excitant — and you are not here. — In town, the circle of friends becomes more 
and more narrow. I see mostly the Raphael (now established rue Labrousse) in 
the Colonel Meyers house, the Dorget, and the Burchart (now in the Russian 
Embassy compound: Otto is better since a few weeks; they are regular meetings 
there, with Dr. Loucks, the Kandel, etc.). Once the week, the Belgian and Brazil' 
ian diplomatic wives can go out — and there is a "the des prisonnieres". The 
Bardacfs are living in the same house as before, — and their marriage is a com- 
plete success. Marie-Claire is decidedly charming, and the most homey and 
attentive of wives. — Here, rue Labrousse, no change. The old superior is like a 
"foreign body" in the house — but quite discret and understanding. Leroy is 
calmer, and our friendship is complete. F. Marin left us for Shanghai (a soulage- 
mentl), and the house ofShih-hu Hutung is practically empty. This is something. 
Because gazoline has become a luxury, the trips to the Hills are more difficult. 
Still, I find some opportunities. A fortnight ago, we went to the Miaofan shan, 
spending two nights at the Bussieres; — and I saw again the place of our picnic 
with the Tyrrhit. You remember? — Eleanor is in Shanghai, with a job. Ruth 
Kunkel is living at the same place, — not depressed at all. Helen Burton was sick 
recently (slight pneumonia), but better now; -—just the same as before. — 

And I have no idea what I will do next. Communications are completely 
cut, even with Indochina. Nothing to do, except to make oneself ready for the 
great re-construction. I am more and more convinced that something big is com- 
ing — a "revolution for Unity ", throwing away all the false political, racial, eco- 
nomic and religious barriers. This is the only thing worth fighting and dying 

Yours ever, de tout mon coeur 


Ci-joint une lettre de Leroy pour Miss Saizeau Can you forward?. Grabau is liv- 
ing apparently the same life, more and more solitary, closed in his dreams, and 
practically cut off from any friendly contacts by the presence of the new "Mrs. 
Grabau". One does not dare nor like to drop in, as before. Perhaps I am lacking of 

This is an absurd letter, too much superficial and short. - But how to 
write, in such times — when even talking should not be enough for telling you 
what I want. 

During most of the war, Teilhard was confined to Peking. However, in November of 1942, 
he and Pierre Leroy were able to visit and lecture in Shanghai, thanks in large part to Mme. 
Claude Riviere, a French broadcaster. Teilhard and Leroy both spoke to large audiences; the 
one at Aurora University, on Man as the supreme achievement of evolution, the other at the 
Alliance, on the wonderful inventiveness of evolution in marine life. For both the reception 

TEILHARD was mixed: great enthusiasm given by some, great misgivings by others, especially by 
& LUCILE some of the Aurora Jesuits who were very wary of "evolution." The two Jesuit scientists 
CORRESPOND returned to Peking before the end of the year. The following spring Lucile, then living in 
Chicago, "talked" to him in her first journal entry since January 14, 1939. 


[Journal] April 8, 1943 

Dearest — I have just returned from a wonderful symphony concert — the best 
I've heard this year — and you were right there with me all the time — / wish I could tell 
you some of the things I felt and thought — / realized more concretely than ever before the 
dynamic, the cosmic possibilities of a friendship such as ours - Oh Pierre we must nourish 
it well for it really has such depth and such broad horizons — If only two people can really 
feel and think big enough surely that could be something real and fine and inspiring in 
this sorry world of today — I think I have grown a lot in this last year and 8 months since 
we parted, and I hope for great things for us in the years to come — / don't know if this 
tells you anything much but I assure you there is nothing petty or personally grasping in 
my feelings — it is something fine and constructive — and you are the other half of the 
potential which makes a whole and solid structure, a force tlmt can "see" and realize the 
deep harmony of all things and help to bring them into being — and I remembered the day 
I left China when I read your parting letter, the one with the picture ofClhrist] enclosed in 

it — Remember? And your last letter too — written almost a year ago / have sent 

four letters to you, this is the fifth — I wonder if you have received any of them — It 
would help so much if we could communicate — / miss you so very very much, it doesn't 
get less, quite the contrary Oh how I would like to hear you talk and share all the lit- 
tle and big things with you again — but that will happen again and will be better than 
ever before — you will see — but I know I do not have to convince you of this — that is 
one of the marvelous things about it all — I'm so sure you are feeling and building in just 
the same way that lam — it is us but oh so much more —and the more beautifully we lave 
each other the more richly we automatically love God. I can see no difficulty there at all — 
it just works that way in the very nature of life and love — and I love you very deeply — 
— and I feel so much closer to God. 

Peking, April 13, 1943 


If this letter arrives to you, it will reach you across the Hills. There is just 
a chance that you will get it — but I must try! 

I hope that you have well received the news I sent you, last June, by the 
Lago. De mon cdte, I got in July, a short letter of you, written to (and forwarded 
by) Dick Smith. That is the last I heard of you. Evidently, communications are 
more and more difficult. But, I know, we are too close to each other for being 
really separated by that. You still deeper remain my Lucile. Your "walking Virgin" 
and your wooden Crucifix still are illuminating the house here. 

Internally, 1 keep the same. Scientific interest survives (I have published 
three memoirs in a year — and more are coming, if we can print). And chiefly 
(although 1 miss you a lot) 1 am going on, thinking. During the last months I have 
developed a fine theory on "Conscience et Complexite", which I tried, as a lecture, 
in Shanghai last November. More and more, the two joint ideas of "Super- 

Humanity" and "Super-Christ" keep my mind busy. And maybe this "emprison- THEIR 
nement" in Peking will have as a final result that I emerge out of it, after the war, 1941 "" 4 * 
with something definitely clear to propose to people, in Europe or in America. 

Physically, I feel perfectly all right — and I feel just as fit as before 15$ 
climbing the Hills — whsxk I can go to the Hills. In this line, the restriction of 
gazoline makes everything more and more difficult. They are still, however, a few 
cars running, occasionally. — Recently, I went to Chieh Tai Tze, and also to Nan 
Chih Tze. Searching for rocks prevented me from being too much heart-sick, 
thinking of the old time. 

Socially speaking, Peking is almost completely deflated. As you probably 
know, the national enemies have been concentrated, a few weeks ago, in Weih 
sien, near Tsingtao. Helen Burton is there, and Miss Bullington, and Ruth Kunkel, 
and Billy Christian, and Mrs. Cotman, Mrs. Margetts, etc. — not too badly set- 
tled, according to the last news. — But I was sjiglad that you have left in time. - 
As a result of this emigration, the circle of friends has become so narrow!. — In 
addition, Paul Raphael suddenly died, last January, of heart-failure, exactly as 
Davidson Black, and almost in the same conditions. As you know, I had him as a 
real brother. — For Francoise, the shock was almost too much. Few people real- 
ized how much she was living "on him". After his disparition, she felt lost, and 
empty. By and by, she becomes again herself, as before. But she absolutely needs 
some interest and belief to fill her life. And here, closed in Peking, what can she 
find to be forced outside of herself? — Outside of her, my best friends remain the 
two Dorget, the Bardac's, the Schlemmer (you don't know them, I think; — he is 
an "apprenti-sinologue", with Dubosc and Dhormon). Jacques is just the same as 
before, — very happy with Marie-Claire, qui est le modele des charmantes 
Spouses. Everybody in town admires her and is fond of her. — 

In the meantimes, Houghton, Leighton Stuart, and Bowen are still kept 
"au secret" in a house, in town [interned by the occupying Japanese forces]. 
They are well, — but nobody can see them — even Hbppeli, who has become one 
of the most popular figures in Peking since he is acting as Swiss consul for the 
anglo-american interests. I told you, I think, in my last letter, that the Peking's 
Man skulls are lost (or rather mislaid), all of them, somewhere. I hope they will 
be found at the end. Fortunately they were all casted and described. 

Practically, I have no news of France. The last letter I got was from my 
brother in Paris, to announce me the death of my poor dear Gabriel (the "coun- 
try" -brother), who has passed away, quite peacefully (as he had been living) in 
November 41. He had rather suddenly developped a kind of cancer near the stom- 
ach, which was discovered too late for being operated. Life must be hard, in 
France. But we practically know nothing about it — except the propaganda. — A 
few days ago, I saw the brother ofNirgidma, who told me that she and her hus- 
band were probably together again,somewhere in Africa. - What about Ida Treat? 
- and the Bigouens? Maybe you know, - since you are on the right side, now. - 

Puissent ces lignes vous arriver, - et vite! I hope you are as happy as pos- 
sible, dearest, - and more alive than ever for the astonishing changes of the 
present world. May the war come soon to its end, so that we can soon meet again, 
and work together for the great task ahead. 


God bless you! 




2£0 P.S. Grabau is living as before at Tuyats'ai Hutung, — undisturbed, — and well 
attended by the "flying Angel". I did not see him since a long time. - Leroy sends 
you his best regards. Roi [another Jesuit] is in Shanghai now! 

Amities de nous deux a Mile Saizeau si elle est encore la! 

[Journal] Easter Sunday. 1943 - Chicago - April 25. 

I have been so terribly unhappy lately — Hating Chicago - which certainly is a 

completely hard and commercial place which does something terrible to people — 

and then my house situation, finding myself tied for how endlessly long to two old people 

— they are so old because they no longer dream or hope for anything , except perhaps death 

— and they unconsciously try to take me with them — so that I feel I must fight to keep 
alive — (really inside alive) and every day I miss RT. more and more and I do so wonder if 
he is well and what he is doing all this long time — life must be pretty dull in Peking these 
days — everywhere !! At least Peking is beautiful — here so much is ugly and there are no 
hills no Tai Miao no nothing to soothe the soul —only the Art Institute and that is a great 
joy — tho' somehow different But last night again I could not sleep — and in thinking 
about my life — There were 12 years with Jerry — the first of which were so happy and 
full of life and work and love — mostly physical — but good — Then that broke and I felt 
life for me was hard — J had 11/2 yrs in Chicago and 2 in New York — trying to find 
happiness and looking for a mate! - then to China!! and in the early days Yd met P.T. — 
As time went on he grew to mean more and more and more to me — This glorious love, 
not physical, so much deeper and more lasting - He has given me so much so rich — well 
that is a long and beautiful story — but with difficulties too. For that same old question of 
loneliness was there — or rather — alone ness — and now the war and here am I in Chi- 
cago and he in Peking and not even letters to help out — why this separation, this desola- 
tion again? Is there something I must learn - some truth I must grasp for myself- alone ? 
and then it seemed to me I realized the real hope and meaning of Easter — The real hope of 
the world which is always there, so infinitely bigger than ourselves, if we will only take it 

— or let it take us! Pierre always says — "You must have confidence in the future" - /// can 
only remember all this I'll have patience and try to learn my lesson and then it will all be 
so much easier - I'll work and read and try to really grow spiritually. I must have some- 
thing fine to give to Pierre when we meet again - Chicago! What matter - 1 will remember 
Easter and all it means - 

Nearly two years later Lucile wrote again to Teilhard at a time when she thought there was 
a chance that a letter might get through. It did not, as Teilhard's August letter indicates. She 
sent another during the summer. The two unsigned carbons in Lucile's files seem to be 

14 East 10th St New York 3 
February 1945 

Dear FT. - 

After all this long long time, how to begin??? That the "internal" conditions are 
just the same as when we parted . . that I am sure you know . . only that everything is 

more. I don't know what I would have done these sad days if I did not have your teaching THEIR 
and frith to give me courage . . / have done much reading and some thinking and have so 1941 " 48 
MANY things that I want to ask you about and to discuss with you!!!! but that will have 
to wait a bit longer ..but I thank you again and again for all you gave me., and I repeat j^ 

so often "You must have confidence in the future" "all life is progress" . . even if it is 

hard to follow at times!!! 

But now for news . . / have been here since last October. My Father died Nov. '43 
and recently Mother has been with her sister in Iowa . . she is not well and probably will 
not be with us long. So I came here to try to pick up some of the threads of my own life . . it 
is not easy, especially at this difficult time. However I am working every day . . and that is 
something. I see old friends . . and that is much too. 

I phoned Mrs. Rachel Nichols at the Museum . . she sends dearest love to you . . 
says the dept. is all reorganized and Simpson at the head. Probably you know that Roy is 
no longer at the Museum. They would all be MOST happy to see you!!! 

I have seen Rhoda Terra, had dinner at her place ..she was looking very pretty 
and has a book coming out very soon about a priest!!!!! Noel is a BIG girl!! also very 
attractive, they seem well and happy . . de Terra is at a university in Ohio . . he does not 
sound so happy ..butl think that is his temperament. Ernestine Evans is fine . . also 
sends much love — says she does not get on so well without your guidance. Rose Jameson 
is here and I see her often . . Michael is in the Navy. In Washington I saw Nathalie, the 
Lyons, also the BaudetsU Tillie, Bosshard, etc etc and all spoke longing of you. Ida T is in 
England for the last year. Simone in south Morocco! I have written several times to Mr- 
jidma ..but no answer for several years. 

Harold Louchs has a good job in Chungking . . Robt Lim is here now. His daugh- 
ter has been very ill here. I hear through the Fergussons . . Old Dr. F. is still quite spry and 
gave me news of you!!! Pretty old now . . but still I bless him. 

There is a girl in the down stairs apt who plays a little French song that Leroy 
used to sing so much . . it just makes me so homesick for the hills!!! I see Delia Tyrwhitt 
often . . Peter was killed several years ago. Delia and Ida Pruitt are giving a cocktail party 
this afternoon . . hope to see more old friends. D. and I often speak of that day we all had in 
the Hills . . just about perfect!! 

This letter seems very superficial . . but if it arrives it will give you some news 
and let you know that all your friends are thinking about you and wishing you were here. 
And as for personal messages . . well just get out almost any letter of the last 15 years . . 
and there would not be much change. Except that like a good wine, a real friendship gets 
richer and more beautiful as time goes on. And that I am your true and devoted friend, 
there can be no question. How I want to know what you are thinking and doing these days. 
It is so long since there has been any direct news from you. I hope you are able to write and 
form your thoughts more and more clearly and concretely all the time . . the world is going 
to need what you have to offer more than ever before . . and there must be some way for you 
to give your message . . there will be . . and you will not fail to take it because it is going to 
be so much louder than ever you knew before . . this will be no time for subterfuge . . 
Christ's teaching seems so simple . . but man seems to have forgotten or never heard it. I 
have just made some more copies of " The Future of Man " and the logic and intellectual 
approach is JUST what is needed. For all this I do have confidence in the future ...and are 
you well?? that I do wish I knew more about. I have heard that you are now living in Tien- 
tsin!! which seems logical. 

TEILHARD So much that must please you has happened since we parted . . no reason to think 

& LUCll£ # mm '^ continue to do so., and that we can have long talks again about it and about!! 
Pierre I do believe it and it makes me almost too happy to be able to write more!! Samoa is 
252 $ tM in Chicago . . well I think and has heard from her family that they are all well!! 

14 East 10th Street 

New York, NY 

July 28 '45 

Dearest PI.,— 

A possible chance to send a line to you. . sol try to write a few words always 
hoping that you will receive them. It is almost 4, FOUR, long years since we parted and 
everything I said to you that day is still true, only like good wine, it has grown richer with 
age! Little did we realize that August 8th that it would be years before we would meet 
again. But now one can see hope for a finish before too long. 

As I have no idea when you last heard from me I will give you a brief summary of 
my news. I have only been in New York since last October. Having lost both of my par- 
ents, I was free again to try to make my own life. New York is very crowded and hard to 
find a good place to live - so I have recently bought a house in Washington - so many of my 
friends are living down there - and I think it will be a happy place to live and also perhaps 
easier to get established with my work. I stayed with Natltalie while there . . and we talked 
much of you and the wonderful picnic we had., you remember? she is now married to Bob 
Proctor, who went with us that day. Of course I saw Tillie, looking So well . . also Barbara 
and Petro. Never saw Petro looking better, he was home on short leave from Ceylon . . 
promised to try to write to you.. A recent letter from Nirjidmafrom France . . the first I 
have had for several years . . her husband it still with the news agency. Ida Treat is still, I 
believe, in England . . Bosshard was in Washington . . but expects to leave shortly for 

I have seen Rhoda de Terra several times this winter - she has had quite a success- 
ful book out - Are YOU the hero?????? We had some "philosophicar discussions - and of 
course we did not agree - Oh, how many things 1 want to discuss with you. I have read 
and thought so much since we parted - and how I want to know wliat you are thinking and 
feeling these days - so much is happening in the world!! Oh, how I long for the time to 
come when you will be able to take your place here -for I'm sure your thoughts and your 
philosophy will fit into the whole scheme of things so perfectly - and give that added touch 
of the Personal - which is so needed. For I feel sure that you have developed more and more 
in that direction. Well ONE of these days now you will be able to tell me about it and what 
life has been for you these last years. 

Rose Jameson is living here now too and I see her very often. Saizeau is still in 
Chicago . . still on the same job ..not so very interesting but it gives her a living . . which 
is something . . she has had good news from her family in France, how often we talked of 
our good friends les phres 

Your wise and beautiful teachings? well, discourses . . have been such a help to 
me . . and have been the foundation for a lot of good thinking and feeling, and I really 
believe we will be talking together again before very much longer. Best greetings to Leroy . 
. and all my deepest love to you. 

My permanent address will be 1217 34th Street N.W. Washington, D.C. 

Institut de Geo-Biologie THEIR 
Rue Labrousse 1941-48 
Peking, August 31. 1945 OTTERS 

Dearest, 163 

Just a few lines to let you know that everything is all right here. I am five 
years older than when you left, — but approximately the same outside, and (I 
hope) still more the same inside, — especially for you. — In Peking, this long 
stretch of time was practically uneventful, and rather dull Except for a trip to 
Shanghai and a short holiday in Shanhaikwan, I did not move. During the two 
last years even the Hills were not easily reached! 1 have printed a long series of 
scientific memoirs (mostly not yet distributed), and laid a considerable number of 
"eggs"* On the whole, I went along the same groove of thoughts; but I think I 
went deeper. Also, I read a lot, so that I have almost become a "lettre" under the 
directum ofde Margerie. 

My plans are still very hazy, as it is natural Contacts with Europe are 
not yet re-established. As soon as possible I plan to go to France where the atmo- 
sphere is favourable to me, I believe. And then we shall see. Much depends also on 
the possible developments (or non-developments) of the Geological Survey. I do 
not give up the idea of starting some new periods of staying in China. 

And what about you? 1 am eager to know. Since a long letter of you 
which came through Chungking (in 1944) I know nothing of America. Did you see 
Bosshart, in July? Eleonore is here since a year. Through Bosshart she just heard 
that Faure is OK (in Washington?) waiting for her "fidelemenf. For her, un grand 
soulagement! Besides, a few friends are still here, among whom, in first line, Mme 
Raphael. Claire Hirschberg has married Prof. Tadjan, ofFujen University. 

Hope that this letter will reach you soon and safely. Evidently, if I have 
the choice, I will try to go to France via America. 

Yours, as before! +++ 


Teilhard's end-of-August letter reached Lucile in the early autumn of 1945. It was her first 
news directly from him since the spring of 1943. Moreover, the next letter from him in 
October indicates that some of her early 1945 correspondence was reaching China. 

Institut de Geo-Biologie 

Rue Labrousse 

Peking, 30 Octobre 1945 

Lucile, dearest, 

lnopinhnent, j'apprends qu'il y ace Unexpectedly I have heard that 

soir une occasion pour VAmerique. En there is an opportunity to get a letter 

hdtejevousenvoieceslignespourvous off to the U.S. this evening. Hastily I 

dire d'abord que je viens de recevoir write these lines to tell you, first that I 

voire longue chere lettre du 23 septem- have just received your dear long letter 

bre, qui m'apprend tant de choses sur of September 23 which tells me so 

vous. Je savais la mort de voire pere. many things about yourself. I knew 

TEIWARD Pauvre maman, que je me rappelle si 

& LUCILE kfe W/ S | douce, quand elle habitait votre 

CORRESPOND maison # # , p etit fr pet i tf \ a v { e nous 

1 „ sevre de bien de choses. Le tout est que 
ces vides se remplissent de la seule pas- 
sion des realites plus belles et plus 
grandes. Je suis si heureux de vous 
savoir settled a Washington, que je 
connais, ouje puis me representer votre 
environnement, et ou il y a tant d'amis 
pour vous. - Au debut de septembre, je 
vous ai envoye une lettre directe par 
avion, mais a Chicago, de sorte que 
vous ne Vavez peut-etre pas recue. Par 
le second Gripsholm, je ne vous ai Hen 
envoye, Mary Ferguson m' ay ant dit 
que le transport des lettres etait inter- 

Ce que je vous disais en septembre, je 
vous le redis. Depuis cinq ans, j'ai pris 
de I'age. Mais dans mes orientations de 
fond, je n'ai pas change. Cest vous dire 
que je ne regarde les annees avenir que 
comme un temps a consacrer a la 
defense et a la propagation des idees 
que vous connaissez si bien, et qui ten- 
dent de plus en plus a se resumer dans 
cette attitude unique et incroyablement 
riche: V amour de Involution comprise 
comme la genese d'un Centre personnel 
et vivant Je n'ai encore aucune idee 
precise sur ce que je pourrai faire. Mais 
il est toujours sous-entendu que votre 
influence sera la pour me sensibiliser et 
m'encourager. You can so much — on 
me and for me, Lucile . . . Au debut 
d'Octobre, j'ai ete officiellement avise 
qu'on desirait me voir reparaitre a Par- 
is. La difficulte est le voyage de retour, 
avec un peu de bagages. Je pense prof- 
iter d'un convoi ramenant (en decem- 
bre?) une partie des diplomates de 
Peking. Dans ce cas, il ne seraitpas im- 
possible que je passe par I'Ameri-que!! 
Dans ce cas, je vous aviserais en temps 
utile, ne serait-ce que par un cable de 
San Francisco. Ce serait si beau . . . Que 
ferai-je exactementen France? Reviend- 
rai-je en Chine? Cest possible, mais je 

that your father had died. Poor 
"maman" whom I remember so well 
from the time she lived at your house. 
She was so sweet . . . Little by little life 
takes away from us so many things . . . 
What counts is that these empty places 
be filled only with the passion of more 
beautiful and greater realities.I am very 
happy to know that you are "settled" in 
Washington that I know well - which 
means that I can imagine your environ- 
ment - and where you have so many 
friends. Early in September I sent you 
an airmail letter, but to Chicago, so that 
you might not have received it yet. 
With the second Gripsholm I sent you 
nothing because Mary Ferguson told 
me it was forbidden to carry letters. 

I repeat what I told you in Septem- 
ber. I have grown older these past five 
years, but in my basic orientations I am 
the same. This means that I consider 
the years to come as a time to dedicate 
to the defense and propagation of the 
ideas you know so well and which tend 
more and more to be summarized in 
this unique and incredibly rich atti- 
tude: the love of Evolution being 
understood as the genesis of a personal 
and living Center. I still have no spe- 
cific ideas about what I could do. But it 
goes without saying that your influ- 
ence will always be present to make me 
sensitive and to help me. You can so 
much on me and for me, Lucile . . . 
Early in October I was officially 
advised that they wanted me to return 
to Paris. The difficulty is to go back 
with little luggage. I hope I can join a 
convoy bringing home (in December?) 
some of the diplomats returning from 
Peking. In this case it is not impossible 
that I return via America!! If this is the 
case I would let you know as soon as I 
can, possibly by a telegram from San 
Francisco. It would be so good . . . 
What will I do exactly in France? Will I 
return to China? It is possible, but I can 
forsee nothing in this restless world. 

ne puis Hen prevoir, dans ce monde en 
pleine agitation. 

Le Peking si calme de ces quatres 
dernieres annies se remue et se 
disagrige. Tout le monde pense plus ou 
moins a partir, et on prevoit de now- 
elles arrivies. L 'afflux Americain a iti 
une resurrection. Le Colonel Mayer est 
id (je vais le rencontrer chez les Bur- 
chart apres-demain). Larry Sickman a 
passe id, en brillant major. Rencontre 
plusieurs offiders (dvils mobilises) 
tres inthessants. A part de gros rial- 
istes (comme Billy Christian) qui ne 
voient dans la victoire qu'un succes 
capitaliste menace par de nouveaux 
conflits, j'ai iti heureux de trouver du 
cdti amhicain le sens des renouvelle- 
ments nicessaires et Vurgence d'un 
nouvel esprit, a une ichelle vraiment 
terrestre. II me semble que le prestige de 
la Russie decline, et que c'est 
VAmerique qui tient dans ses mains 
Vavenir immidiat du monde: pourvu 
qu'elle sache developper le sens de la 
Terre parallelement avec son sens de la 

Eleonore est id (chez les Wilhelm). 
Par Bosshard elle a su que Faure lui est 
toujours fidele et V attend. Mais Hen de 
Faure lui-meme, et nous ne savons pas 
ou il est! ]' imagine que de son cote il ne 
salt pas ou se trouve Eleonore. En ce 
moment celle-d est un peu inquiete car 
on recommence a parler de concentra- 
tion pour les Allemands de Chine. Mais 
ma conviction est que Hen de pareil ne 
lui arrivera: car son cas est trop clair et 
trop favorable. Je vous ai nomme les 
Burchart. Pony est toujours aussi del- 
icieusement la mime. Otto est toujours 
malade etfantasque, et si sympathise 
en mime temps. Depuis trois ans Us 
vivent dans un charmant pavilion de 
VAmbassade Russe. 

Je termine en hdte, pour porter ma 
lettre. Puisse-t-elle vous aniver vitel 

A vous, dearest, si, si affectueuse- 

Peking which was so calm these past 
four years starts moving and dispers- - „ 
ing. Everybody thinks more or less 
about leaving, but we are expecting 
new arrivals. The American influx was 
like a resurrection. Colonel Mayer is 
here (I will meet him at the Burcharts 
the day after to-morrow). Larry Sick- 
man passed through as a brilliant 
major. I have met several officers 
(called up civilians) who are most 
interesting. Apart from some over-real- 
istic people (like Billy Christian) who 
see in victory only a capitalist success 
threatened by new conflicts, I was 
happy to find on the American side a 
feeling for necessary renewals and the 
urgency of a new spirit on a really 
earth-wide scale. It seems to me that 
the Russian prestige is declining and 
that America holds in its hands the 
immediate future of the world: as long 
as America knows how to develop the 
sense of the earth at the same time as 
her sense of liberty. 

Eleonore is here (at the Wilhelms). 
Bosshard told her that Faure is still 
faithful to her and is waiting for her. But 
I haven't heard anything from Faure 
himself and we don't know where he is. 
I rather imagine that he doesn't know 
where Eleonore is. Right now she is a lit- 
tle worried because people are talking 
again about concentration camps for the 
Germans in China. But I am certain that 
nothing will happen to her: her situa- 
tion is too clear and favorable. I told you 
I saw the Burcharts. Pony is still as deli- 
riously herself, Otto is still ill and 
whimsical, but so likeable at the same 
time. For the past three years, they have 
lived in a charming little house at the 
Russian Embassy. 

I hurry to finish and bring my letter. 
I hope it will reach you soon! 

Yours, dearest, so, so affectionately. 




TEILHARD God bless you a thousand times, for the past and for the future! 

CORRESPOND yours always 



Sometime before Teilhard's October letter reached Lucile, she wrote to him on November 
18, from her home in Washington. Much of this "talk" with him reviewed their many 
Peking agreements and disagreements and mutual concerns. And when his October letter 
did get through, she wrote again, a week later. 

1217 34th Street N. W., Washington D.C. 
November 18, 1945 

Pierre dearest, - 

A few days ago Isabel Mayer phoned me that she had just had a letter from Bill 
written in Peking Nov. 1st and he had just had tea with you and the Burchards!! and that 
you had just had a letter from me!!! I am so glad that at last you have heard . . that must be 
the one that Sabe Chase, American Consul, took out for me.. I have sent two more since 
then by the regular Air Mail, so they ought to be coming along soon ..lhad said much the 
same things, as I did not know whether you had ever gotten any word of me., especially 
since I have made such a definite move as to buy a house here!! I have not yet been here 
two months, but I feel so at home and so much happier than I have any place else in Amer- 
ica!!! and as I wrote you, it is a very well located place and I know I can always rent it if I 
want to GO places again ...and I have a feeling I will get restless one of these days .... 

I am so terribly anxious to hear from you and to know what your plans are for the 
future?? do you know yet where you will want to be?? but I don't suppose you will know 
until you have been over here and looked over the ground, . . / have a feeling that you will 
not want to settle in France!!! but maybe that is only "wishful thinking?" . . . 

/ am enclosing a small clipping from an address that Prime Minister Attlee made 
here recently . . / thought it would interest you., as it reflects your own thoughts . . and 
one hears this sort of thing a lot . . . "The atom bomb has made people (at least a few of 
them) realize that we have to take stock of ourselves and the Christian principle seems to 
be one great hope - but it really is sadly missing. The church dogma is so far behind the 
modern scientific discoveries - that man just can't reconcile the two -he KNOWS what sci- 
ence does - so naturally it seems so much more REAL to him. Oh Pierre, isn't that where 
YOU come in?? to show him that the Christian idea is REALLY the most scientific?? Oh 
I do so want to see your new papers (eggs) to follow what you have been thinking these 
long years . . . Pierre . . I'm almost through reading "ha Dignite Humaine" by Lecomte du 
Nouy . . Isn't he a friend of yours . . I'm sure you must have talked together for he puts 
forth so many of the same ideas as yours. This was published just a year ago in America . . 
I'm reading it in French so may miss some of the nuances, but I find it MOST interesting 
. . Aldous Huxley has a new book out which I've not yet read . . The Perennial Philosophy 
. . "The Author has drawn upon the wisdom of the ages to find the common denominator 
of a faith for today" even an agnostic can read this book with joy . . perhaps Mr. Huxley 

has written the most needed book in the world" (from the advertisement!!) Huxley 

has gone more and more toward the mystic . . I must get this as he interests me. .Oh so 
much to talk over!! I've read quite a bit of the real Wisdom of the East ..and I think it is 

SO interesting how very SCIENTIFIC their approach is . . their explanations of the stuff THEIR 
of the Universe ...its so modern so like YOU!! I so often think of what you wrote in the ^l-M 
"Gripsholm letter" that doing away with ALL barriers is the only thing worth fighting 
and dying for . . That is of course the great question before the world today . . the advanced 357 
religious thinkers as well as all others . . there is such a chance right now . . I mean such an 
opportunity to help put things on the right track ...and EVERYones effort is so needed . . 
It is almost unthinkable but SO true, how many many want to go BACK ..and so many 
of those are the people who still have a great deal of power, for things do change so slowly . 
. "How often have I made myself remember what you )wve said so often - that we must 
take a LONG view!!! and how often in arguments I've put forth this idea which I so fortu- 
nately learned from you - 1 could go on endlessly, and even this very onesided conversa- 
tion is such a joy -so much more than we have had for so so long!! It is just shortly after 
five!!! perhaps that is why I find it so easy to talk to you. Oh darling how I have missed 
you and your talk and the beautiful alive and creative ideas that you were always giving 
me., we WILL have it again??? 

Saturday evening I had dinner with Peggy Boyden!! Lt. Commander Boyden!!! 
we talked so much about Peking and we all love it so much . . probably you are so fed up 
with it right now that it is hard to realize what a GRAND place it is . . If one had to be 
stuck in one place for the war, you certainly were lucky to have been there . . and we looked 
through some of her photographs and suddenly there YOU were, out in Mayos courtyard, 
Oh Pierre what a thrill, to see your dear self and smiling and all . . of course we talked 
about you and wondered how long before we would all be together again . . in Peking!! I 
think Peggy will try to go back as soon as she can . . Just at the moment things do not look 
too good in North China, but maybe before this reaches you, things will have changed, I do 
so hope so. 

Tillie was here for dinner with me a few nights ago, looking so young and SO 
pretty and so much the same . . / think she too hopes to be sent to China before long . . 
Delia Tyrwhitt was in . . she may go to England soon . . you know that Peter was killed at 
Singapore and she has to go over to see about some of his affairs . . I hear that Bob Drum- 
mond is to be in Peking about this time before he returns to the US . . .so you have no 
doubt seen him. Bill and Helen and their darling little boy are here. Bill just out of the 
army and does not yet know what he will do. Barbara Petro $0 near . . she just heard from 
Petto from India, New Delhi I think, that his release had been deferred $0 he did not know 
just when he would be home, saw him here last summer, looking so well and fine. 

I had a letter yesterday from Nirjidma which did not sound too cheerful. I guess 
life is pretty difficult in Paris right now . . she said Michel has left the New Agency and 
joined the Foreign Office and he hopes to be sent to the Far East soon as a Consul-Gen- 
eraHU She said she had gotten in touch with the Jesuits in Paris but they had no direct 
news from you but knew you were well. No news yet from her family, tho they had heard 
from people in Shanghai!! Letters MUST come soon. I look so hopefully everyday . . YOU 
HAVE written?? oh yes surely . . I don't know why you did not get letters from me . . 
every so often all during the war I sent them to friends in Chungking ..but I guess the 
Japs just made things tighter . . 

I have had no news from the other friends . . Ida Treat . . who seldom writes but 
has been in England for a couple of years . . well I suppose recently she is in France . . the 
Begouens were in Morocco when I last heard . . and Breuil in South Africa . . 

TE1LHAKD I hear they are going to reopen the PUMCH Mary Fergusson is to go out there 

& LUCILE ver y soon anf i some of the others . . If they should start work again at Chou Ko Tien would 

that interest you . . but how can you know now . .Oh we have heard the wildest tales 

m about Grabau . . that he has MARRIED the Flying Angel . . in spite of the fact that he has 

a wife here. Is she still with him? and what has happened to Truda, and Germaine . . How 

soon will you be able to leave there? etc etc . . Now that there is a possibility of writing, the 

questions [seem] endless . . 

And the things I would like to say .. that you are more dear more close [to] me 
than ever before and that the thought of you has been more than ever a living inspiration 
all these years . . I feel a littly shy, a little reticent to say all that is in my heart. And yet I 
don't believe that you have changed . . I read and reread what you wrote so long ago. May 
31st %L to be exact . . "I must let you know tJwt I remain yours" that I do my best to 
remain exactly and entirely what you wish and want me to be. I am so sure for my part 
that you are still the same, and even MORE. After all that was written 3 and 1/2 years 
ago... so dearest do please write me soon and [tell] me that it is still the same!! my whole 
heart is here for you if you want it... well it is still all yours anyway /!/no matter what 
you think!! It is so wonderful about love, no one can stop you from loving . . Oh darling I 
hope you don't want to stop me, I think I have learned even more than ever how to make it 
a good love a creative love . . I hope so., for I would like so much to give you such beauty, 
such happiness that it would make all you do more rich and strong and vital . . There is 
SO much work for YOU to do, and my greatest wish is that 1 slmll be able to work with 
you again. 

As for my sculpture!! I always work every day - and 1 am having an exhibition 
down in Palm Beach in January - and hope to go down for a couple of weeks - which ought 
to be pleasant. It is hard to keep at sculpture these days - but I still believe that it is impor- 
tant . . and besides that is the only training I have!! 

Best Greetings to Leroy, Frangoise Raphael, the Burchards etc etc . . . and my 
whole heart full to overflowing with love for you dearest, 

1217 34th Street Washington Nov. 25, 45 


Your precious letter of October 30 arrived yesterday; oh can you imagine how 
happy I was to receive it! The one sent to Chicago will be sent on to me, but it has not yet 
arrived . . Those letters seem to take a very long time I am going to try to send this 
another way . . I've sent three other Air Mail letters which I suppose will eventually reach 
you . . All the communications seem fairly slow . . and the way things are going in North 
China now!! One wonders when you all will able to leave. I do so so so hope you will have 
to come by way of the U.S.! Does your call to Paris mean anything special? I sincerely 
hope it is nothing but routine. 

Though of course I also hope that you are going to use your coming years to 
really put out BOLDLY your ideas. You say in your letter of the coming years as a time "a 
consacrer a la difense et a la propagation de vos idees". Pierre, I hope there is going to be a 
lot of propagation, a defensive attitude is not strong enough now! You will see and fed it I 
am sure just as soon as you are in the Western world again - and from all I hear of France 
- she needs it so much, so very much. 

Pierre, I hope you do not mind when I write you this way - the way we always 

talked - 1 feel in your letter a certain reserve, a something that always happens when you THEIR 
had been in Paris for a long time - do you remember after '39 how long it took to be really 1941 ~ 4S 
at ease again?! So I am assuming that as you say, "Mais dans mes orientations defond, je 
rial pas changi" and I shall write with that in mind, for I have not changed - my interest 359 
in you and your ideas, and my deep affection for you, have only groum deeper and stron- 
ger during these years - and the need for a POSITIVE attitude about UFE is so very great 
now - we need each other more than ever - or $0 it seems to me. It is so thrilling to be able 
to communicate with you again, but the lines are so uncertain that I feel a bit constrained 
. .so my dear, in the letters that I have already sent to you please remember me at my 
BEST . .for I seem to remember that I wrote about a letter to Rhoda and was trying to be a 
bit facetious, and I thought it might amuse you to have me so much myself. . but please 
forget it, if it was a sour note . . / know how really Unimportant it is. 

I can imagine how everyone there must be restless now, almost released, but not 
quite . . what ofLeRoy, will he leave too? and Mme Raphael? I can well imagine that you 
are all very restless . . Do give my warm greetings to Eleanore, how strange of Fame not 
to write!! but he IS strange!! I understand that he is in Paris, surely the Foreign office 
there would reach him . . oh, how many many people are trying to reach other again . . 
and how many will never succeed, at least in this life . . three of my very good friends lost 
their only sons . . and are we going to learn? One gets so terribly discouraged sometimes. 
I KNOW that evolution is the law of life (and that it converges in a personal Center). But 
it does seem slow! And then I remember the Time elements ofPaliontologie!! and try to 
be CONSTRUCTIVELY patient. But so many of the "World Planners" talk of Unions 
and Leagues, etc., but so few seem to be able to talk of the absolute NEED of belief in a 
Higher Power - which seems to me the only thing that will REALLY change man! Oh 
Pierre, how I do need to hear you talk! How terrifically I have missed your blessed words 
of wisdom. I've read a lot and tried to think things out - but for so many years I had the 
great benefit of your help that I feel very lost without it - and will I have it again some 
day? Who knows - but I feel so sure that 1 shall have it! I have great Faith that Life will 
work out right, lam so very keen to know what has happened to you INSIDE - what 
these years have really done to you - As I said, your letter disturbed me a bit - it sounded 
$0 very reserved - but probably that is not the REAL inner you that I'm sure burns with 
an even brighter flame. More intense and more determined to throw its Light just as far 
and to as many as possible - but REALLY possible - not warped and held back by a lot of 
people who are still thinking in the ideas of the Moyen Age!! 

You say you hope America is developing a "sens de la lerre" - / wish you would 
write me more of what you mean by that -I am afraid she is NOT. But do tell me more and 
what one could do to help it!! 

God bless you dearest . . always and always and I love you and thank you from 
my heart for all the beauty you have given tome., and thanks for mentioning in your let- 
ter "for the past and for the future" 

all my love to you 


I have no special news of our friends — Ida or the Begouens — a card yesterday from 
Ernestine Evans with no news except she says "I need badly some of the people who knew 
the Pere" — we all need you! Saizeau still in Chicago - things going well for her. She 
hopes to go to China this Spring 

TE1LHARD 1217 34th St. N.W. Washington D.C. 

&LUCILE Dec 3,1945 


Dearest, - 
170 The precious letter of Aug. 31 sent to Chicago has reached me two days ago, and I 

can't tell you how very very happy it makes me -For your other letter, the one in French 
VMS so very much more RESERVED - but perhaps the one of mine that it answered was 
also very reserved - and perhaps they were both that way for the same reason -I was not 
sure IF you would receive it and had no idea how many other people might read it first!! 
However this one is so precious so YOU and while it was written two months earlier, I'm 
sure it is all true today -I was so moved I laughed and I cried and I said a very deep heart- 
felt prayer of thanks . . Oh Pierre I feel so sure that we will be working together again, per 
haps not immediately, but before too too long - I have complete Faith in that and 1 do SO 
SO hope that in the meantime you have been able to send me some "eggs". How I long to 
follow your thoughts. Naturally they are along the same line, but what new development? 

I am glad to know that at least one of my letters via Chungking did get to you . . 
It gave you a bit of news . . This morning Ernestine Evans phoned me . . She said the last 
she heard Simone was still in Morocco and that life was quite difficult ..Ida had been in 
Brittany . . but she had not heard from her in a long time . . Ida is not very good about 
answering letters!! Ernestine was SO happy to have some news of you and said, "we just 
MUST get the Ptore over here SOON" . . was this summons to Paris, anything special? I 
do hope not 

Yes I saw Bosshard here in July when I came down to get my house. He was stay- 
ing in the same house with Tillie, and went to Switzerland shortly after . . He met Faure in 
Paris where I believe he still is . . Tillie said she was writing more details and sending it 
through some Marine in Peking . .sol hope Eleanor has already received more news . . 
Tillie hopes to be sent back to China very soon!! So many are going now and some coming 
. . a young newspaper woman who met you right after the peace was here and told Jim 
Penfield of meeting you and how WONDERFUL you are!! Oh it is so good to know, dear, 
that the old charm is still working . . after all it is only four years, not five since we parted 
. . I hope I haven't changed too much, I don't know . . somedays it seems to me I look 
mighty ancient . . but my heart is just the same . . oh Boy and will it dance and sing when 
we meet again!! for we shall do that and fairly soon!! well maybe not SOON ..but one of 
these days.. 

Delighted to hear about Claire Hershberg . . hope she is happily married . . and 
what is Mme Raphael doing all this long time . . and what ofLeRoy, you do not mention 
him in either letter. Saizeau is still in Chicago and recently her affairs have gone very well 
and she has made some good connections and hopes to be getting back to CHINA in a few 
months ..lam making no plans in that direction . . Peking would not be much without 
you and I want to see you more than anything else ..sol shall stay right here until some- 
how some place I can seeyou . . 

I am planning to have an exhibition of my work down in Palm Beach, Florida this 
winter, I may go down for a week in January to get it going. Have just sent a garden piece 
down therefor a big show that opens in December - a sort of introduction. Nathalie has 
been taking drawing lessons!! and works very hard . . They will be going back to Boston 
very soon. Washington is a little like Peking in that people move about quite a lot. 

Ernestine said she was going to see what about getting you on a plane for 
US++// more power to her.. Remember, dear, if you have to have friends here for a visa 
that Arthur Ringwalt is here, also John Carter Vincent in the State dept . . and they will 
do everything possible for you., so DO NOT hesitate to use them . . beside Roy Andrews 
etc., etc. You have THOUSANDS of friends over here and everyone of them would be 
DEUGHTED to do anything they can for you . . don't forget this . . really . . 

/ am sending this letter again to Chungking, which seems a long way around, but 
it is still the fastest that I know of ..I think this is the 6th letter ..soldo hope that you 
have received more than the first one . . they surely ought to be coming through regularly 
soon . . andlhopeyou have written again . . there is SO much I want to know . . but that 
witt take HOURS of talk!! 





Peking, December 13, 1945 


1 have just received, in the course of a few days, your letters of November 
5 and 12. And I am so disappointed that you did not yet receive the two 1 wrote 
you since August. The first one, of course, was addressed to Chicago. But the sec- 
ond one, sent to Washington, should have reached you . . . The present one I give 
to Bob Drummond: certainly you will get it safely. 

Dans ces deux lettres (perdues?) je In these two letters (lost?) I was 
vous expliquais comment, par le deux- explaining how, by the second Gris- 

ihne Gripsholm, je n'ai pas pu faire 
passer de correspondance (Mary Fergu- 
son m'a dit qu'elle n'osait Hen pren- 
dre). Je vous disais aussi que, pour moi, 
la fin de la guerre s'est passee sans 
aucun changement materiel Toujours a 
la rue Labrousse, avec Leroy. Toujours 
publiant des memoires varies (a peine 
encore distribues). Et toujours ecrivant 
une suite d'essais, non publics, ou j'es- 
saie de preciser et d'appronfondir les 
idees qui nous sont cheres a tous deux, 
et que vous connaissez. Dans ce sens je 
crois avoir fait quelque progrks. Pour 
V instant, je suis en instance de depart. 
On m'a redemande de France: mais si 
peu clairement (malgre que le cable eut 
une note d'urgence) que je suis encore 
id. Les communications sont encore 
tres difficiles par mer, V avion tres cher, 
sans compter que je voudrais arriver a 
Paris avec plus de 25 kilos de bagage. 
Bref, je marque le pas. J'avais d'abord 
pensi passer par VAmirique. Mais de 
ce cote-lh les lignes sont si chargees (et 
cheres) que je crains d' avoir h me con- 

pholm, I could not send any correspon- 
dance (Mary Ferguson told me that she 
was afraid to take anything). I was tell- 
ing you also that, for me, the end of the 
war happened without any material 
change. I am still at rue Labrousse with 
Leroy. Still publishing various memoirs 
hardly yet distributed. And still writ- 
ing a collection of essays unpublished 
in which I try to clarify and express 
more profoundly the thoughts which 
are so dear to both of us and which you 
know. I think I have made some 
progress in this direction. Right now I 
am getting ready to leave. I have been 
asked to return to France, but not really 
clearly (although the telegram had a 
note of urgency). So I am still here. 
Communications by boat continue to 
be very difficult; flying is expensive, 
not mentioning the fact that I would 
like to arrive in Paris with more than 50 
pounds of luggage. In short I try my 
best. I had first thought of going via the 
U.S.A . . But in this direction the lines 
are so booked (and expensive) that I 


TEHHARD tenter de la route Suez, si je peux trou- 
& LUCILE ver un bateau. Au dela, je ne vois 
CORRESPOND absolument Hen de clair. J'avais renoue 
tnes communications, tres amicales, 
avec le Geological Survey, - et je ne 
renonce pas du tout a Videe de revenir 
en Chine. Mais tout depend tellement 
de ce queje trouverai et de ce qu'on me 
demandera a Paris. De ce cdte-la, 
aucune nouvelle! Peut-etre me croit-on 
deja en chemin. 

En tous cas, dearest, you know that 
I do not forget you, et que, d'une 
maniere ou d'une autre, je compte tou- 
jours autant sur vous pour me soutenir 
et m' "inspirer". Avec les annees qui 
ont passe, je ne me sens peut-etre plus 
autant de jeunesse ou d'enthousiasme 
pour la Geologie ( et encore qui sait, si 
je me retrouvais sur le terrain?). En 
revanche, mon desir de decouvrir a 
VHomme la grandeur et Vavenir possi- 
ble du Phenomene Humain n' a fait que 
grandir; et c'est cette passion-la qui 
finalement semble devoir absorber ma 
vie. Or cet effort, precisement, Lucile, 
vous savez que je ne le conqois guere 
sans vous. Alors, vous le voyez, tout 
demeure et demande a croitre entre 
nous, sur un terrain solide. Vous remar- 
querez peut-etre que je vous ecris le 
proprejour de Ste Lucile. Cestsi tendre 
et si fort de sentir que, meme tres loin, 
vous etes si pres de moi . . . 

Id depuis la paix, nous vivons dans 
un tourbillon d'amis americains. Vu 
Larry Sickman, Bill Meyer, etfait une 
masse de connaissances. Merci des 
nouvelles que vous me donnez sur les 
amis de Washington, sur Nirgidma, etc. 
Je sais en gros, indirectement, que ma 
famille va bien, en France. Mais je ne 
sais Hen des Begouen, qui devaient 
rentrer du Maroc. Id, Mme Raphael est 
encore id, et aussi les Burchart, qui 
pensent partir avant le printemps pour 
VAm&Hque. Les de Margerie aussi vont 
partir quand Us pourront (au Japon Mr. 
Cosme a ete ss revoque"l). Grabau se 

probably mil have to use the Suez 
route, if I can find a ship. Beyond this I 
see nothing clearly. I renewed my rela- 
tionship (a very friendly one) with the 
Geological Survey, and I am not at all 
giving up the idea of coming back to 
China. But everything depends so 
much on what I shall find and what I 
shall be asked to do in Paris. I have 
heard nothing from there! Perhaps they 
think I am already on my way. 

In any case, dearest, you know that I 
do not forget you and that, one way or 
another, I still count on you to support 
and inspire me. With the years that 
have passed, I may not feel as young or 
enthusiastic about Geology (and yet, 
who knows, if I were back in the field?) 
On the other hand, my desire to show 
to Man the greatness and possible 
future of the Human Phenomenon has 
only grown, and it is this passion that 
might very well take charge of my life. 
And you must know, Lucile, that I can- 
not conceive this search without you. 
So, you see, everything remains the 
same and wants to grow between us on 
a solid basis. You will perhaps have 
noticed that I am writing to you the 
very day of Saint Lucile. It is so sweet 
and so strong to know that in spite of 
the distance you are so close to me . . . 

Since the peace we live in a whirl- 
wind of American friends. I saw Larry 
Sickman, Bill Meyer, and I have met 
many new people. Thank you for tell- 
ing me about our friends in Washing- 
ton, about Nirgidma, etc. I have heard 
indirectly, on the whole, that my family 
in France is well. But I know nothing 
about the Begouens who were sup- 
posed to come back from Morocco. 
Mme Raphael is still here, also the Bur- 
chart who plan to go back to the U.S. 
before Spring. The de Margeries also 
will leave when they can (in Japan Mr. 
Cosme has been "recalled"!). Grabau 

considere comme marie avec le Flying 
Angel II semble qu'il e&t ses papiers de 
divorce juste au moment de Pearl Har- 
bour (1941), mais a ce moment-la il n'y 
a plus eu de consul id pour rigulariser 
la situation, Alors il a fait "comme si". 
En fait, je Vai a peine vu, durant ces 
annees (on ne pouvait pas visiter les 
concentres, & VAmbassade d'Angle- 
terre). II a beaucoup baissi, et les con- 
versations avec lui deviennent diffi- 
ciles. Ce qu'on peut dire de mieux en 
faveur de Mrs. Volange, c'est qu'elle 
s'est montree pour Amadeus une nurse, 
parfois acari&tre, mais extremement 
devouee. II semble que Grabau ne 
puisse se passer d'elle, ni physique- 
ment, ni moralement Au point de vue 
materiel, Grabau est de nouveau tres 
entoure par le Geological Survey. -Je 
vois souvent Eleonore, qui habite avec 
les Wilhelms. Toujours la meme. Faure 
est en Yougoslavie, et malgre les assur- 
ances transmises par Bosshart, il de- 
meure toujours aussi silencieux! Peut- 
itre ne sait-il pas ou atteindre EUonore 
qui commence & trouver le temps long. 
Je la presse d'icrire do les Affaires 
Etrangeres de Paris. Je voudrais bien 
que les deux finissent par se retrouver 
et se reunir. Elle est si gentille et si vi- 
vante. Nous parlous souvent ensemble 
de vous et de Ttllie. Claire Hirschberg, 
devenue Mrs. Tadjan, attend un enfant 
en Fevrier (Tadjan est prof esseur de Bi- 
ologie & Fujen, - un Arminien d'origine, 
avec nationality italienne etfamille a 
Vienne): elle a Voir vraiment et solide- 
ment heureuse en manage. Les Bardac 
sont toujours populaires et heureux. 
Elle et lui s'entendent a merveille. 
Depuis Varrivee des marines, leur mai- 
son (Us habitent maintenant a la 
Banque) est le rendez-vous des officiers 
americains. Mais Us vont peut-etre etre 
transferes a Tientsin. Sije devais rester 
id, je les regretterais. 

Je vous envoie, par Bob (3 copies: 
you can distribute ...), une conference 

considers himself married with the Fly- THEIR 
ing Angel. It seems that he received his Ml-M 
divorce papers just at the time of Pearl LETrERS 
Harbor (1941) but there no longer was 
a consul here to regularize the situa- 
tion. So he acted "as if". In fact I barely 
saw him during these past years (we 
were not allowed to visit those concen- 
trated at the British Embassy). He is a 
good deal worse and it is getting more 
difficult to hold a conversation with 
him. The best that can be said in favor 
of Mrs. Volange is that she has been a 
good nurse for Amadeus, sometimes 
sour-tempered but extremely devoted. 
It seems that Grabau cannot do without 
her, neither physically nor morally. On 
the material side, the people of the 
Geological Survey are coping well with 
this new development. I often see Ele- 
onore who lives with the Wilhelms. She 
hasn't changed. Faure is in Yugoslavia 
and, in spite of the assurances transmit- 
ted by Bosshart, he remains as silent as 
ever. Perhaps he doesn't know where 
to reach Eleonore who begins to find 
the time long. I urge her to write c/o 
the Foreign Affairs in Paris. I would 
very much like for those two to finally 
get together again. She is so nice and so 
lively. We often speak of you and Tillie. 
Claire Hirshberg; who is now Mrs. Tad- 
jan, is expecting a baby in February 
(Tadjan is biology professor in Fujen - 
an Armenian by birth, of Italian nation- 
ality and from a family who are living 
in Vienna). Claire really seems secure 
and happy with her husband. The Bar- 
dacs continue to be popular and happy. 
They get along marvellously. Since the 
arrival of the marines, their house (they 
now live at the bank) is the meeting 
place of the American officers. But they 
might be transferred to Tientsin. If I 
must stay here, I should miss them. 

Bob will bring you three copies of a 
lecture I gave here last winter (you can 

TEILHARD que j'ai faite ici Vhiver dernier. Vous y hand them out). You will see how 

& LUC1LE V errez combien je reste le mime. Ce que much I remain the same. What I want 

CORRESPOND ^ voudrais tant, c'est de bonnes heures most of all is to spend some wonderful 

174 passees avec vous, en particulier pour hours with you, particularly to talk 

vous parler de la "mystique nouvelle" with you about the "new mysticism" 

que j'entrevois sous forme d'une "com- which appears to me as a "communion 

munion avec Involution". ]e compte with Evolution". I intend to develop 

developper bientot celadans une Note, this idea soon in a Note. My book/ The 

- Mon livre sur le Phenomene Humain Phenomenon of Man, has been stopped 

a ete arrete a Rome par la censure: in Rome by the censors: but without 

mais sans beaucoup de severite, il sem- much severity it seems. I keep on hop- 

ble. J'esptre encore surmonter les ing that I can overcome the obstacles 

obstacles quand je serai en Prance, when I am in France. You know that I 

Vous savez que j'en avais confie un have entrusted a copy of my book to 

exemplaire aux Wiley. Ou peut-il etre the Wileys. Where can it be? (I have 

(Yen ai encore deux, ici). two more copies here). 

Soon I will write you again. Grandes amities a Tillie! . . . 

Yours, as ever 

Actually not published formally until after his death in 1955, The Phenomenon of Man is con- 
sidered his most important book. It is the one Teilhard had "talked out" most with Lucile 
during the Peking years, and one for which she had translated many draft passages. 

[Peking] December 20th, 1945 


Just a few lines, in this letter ofLeroy to Miss Saizeau, to tell you that I 
have just received your letter of Nov. 26 (and two more, by air-mail, before), 
answering my letter of Oct. 30. - A few days ago I have given a letter to you (and 
a small pamphlet) to Bob Drummond, on his way to America. - 1 will write you 
again in a few days, plus longuement- Don't be afraid, as far as ideas are con- 
cerned, that I should be too "reserve", in Europe. If I am going there, it is in order 
to talk, — and I suspect that I am expected there just for to do that. 

No immediate prospects so far for the date of my departure. Except by 
airplane (but then practically no luggage.) Travelling back to Europe is still diffi- 
cult. - And yet I must leave before spring. - I will let you know any further devel- 
opment - 

A bientot une autre lettre. 

With much love 

Met two days ago Mrs.S.T.Wang (P.U.M.C.) 
qui m'a charge de mille choses pour vous. 

1217 34th Street N.W. Washington D.C. THEIR 

Jan. 4 1946 »«-« 

Dearest Pierre,- 

Have just written to jane Smythe so will enclose a short note to you, as it seems, 175 
from here, as if it were so easy to send things to Peking from Chungking . . jane wrote that 
she had sent a letter by Harold Loucks . . It must be good for you to see all these old friends 
again .Ado wonder if you have been able to make any definite plans yet . . Are the boats 
going now and will you go direct to France or come by way of US of course I'm hop- 
ing so much for the latter . . Well, I'm sure I will hear from you as soon as you know . . 

I had a letter from Nirjidma a few days ago, saying that Michel has had a sort of 
nervous breakdown and has gone to Morocco for several months complete rest . . 1 suppose 
we who have been more or less out of it, have no idea what the people in Europe have been 
through . . people seem to be divided into those who have been bombed and those who have 
not..Wecanbe sympathetic . . but we can't really FEEL it . . 

I am finding more old China friends here . . they seem to find Washington nearer 
to Peking than any other place in America . . it really is a very pleasant place to live . . 
TUlie was here for dinner last evening . . Had just had a long letter from Bossliard from 
Switzerland . . I think he expects to go back to China before long . . so does TUlie, in fact 
she expects to leave about the first of March SO in hopes you will be here before then. 
Had a Christmas cable from Mariann Clubbfrom Vladivostok saying they would soon be 
in Shanghai. More and more people will be going back there . . and eventually I'll want to 
go too., but not now . . 

My work has gone very badly lately . . can't seem to concentrate . . partly the hol- 
idays and partly because I'm all interested in my exhibition . . I'm leaving on jan 9 for 
Palm Beach to be there a week or two., here's hoping things go well . . I sure do feel the 
need of some inspiration . . This is surely NOT an age of ART . . I suppose this is really a 
great transition period . . is that why one is so restless so much? Oh Pierre, how I do want 
to talk to you., how very much I need your goodness and wisdom . . and esprit!! My mod- 
elling went so badly this morning, perhaps I am feeling a bit depressed!!!! but I do so very 
much hope we will be able to talk together again . . and plan and work . . You will see how 
much the world needs YOU . . Things must work out so you can give your great Gift 

Write to me please, even if you haven't any definite plans yet, I want so much to 
know more how you are feeling and thinking . .lam thinking a great deal of you and 
everything about you is of the greatest interest tome . . Oh Pierre I do hope we meet 

All my love dearest, 

1217 34th Street N.W. 
Washington, Jan. 29 '46 

Dearest, - 

Yesterday I returned from Palm Beach and got your letter brought by Bob. He 
had just gone to New York but will be back in a few days. I can hardly wait to see him to 
get all the details about everything there and especially about you. I talked to Helen 
Drummond yesterday . . she and Bill expect to return to Peking soon!! and TUlie expects 

TEILHARD to leave for Shanghai about March 1st!! it sure does make me restless . . but knowing that 
& LUC1LE y 0U w m fo j^^v an y fay nm makes it all much less attractive to me. If you were 

going to be there, I should certainly come too . . I'd manage it somehow it is, I shall 

U6 stay right here for the time being . . 

"My exhibition was quite successful. I sold several pieces of sculpture, among 
others that Madonna which I had cut out of that piece of ivory I brought back. I'm rather 
sorry she has gone as I think I really got something quite spiritual there. I find it very hard 
to work these restless days . . it is certainly not an age of ART . . and yet it is important to 
keep the tiny flame alight . . and also I seem to function better when I am working. 

Bob did not leave your pamphlets, I am sorry as I can hardly wait to see them. 
They contain ideas that are really important ..I am so glad dear that you have been able to 
keep on., but of course you always will . . Pierre, I had a letter yesterday from Simone!! 
well I think I shall enclose it to you . . that will be best . . I'll send her a copy of your new 
EGG just as soon as Bob delivers them tome.. Helen said he wanted to give them to me 
PERSONALLY . . I will write to Simone in a day or so., she will be so happy to have this 
recent news of you . . The letter enclosed in Leroy's, reached me in Palm Beach . . / sent his 
on to Saizeau immediately via air mail . . it is always SO SO good to hear from you . . and 
I do feel so very close to you dear and somehow, some place we will talk and laugh and be 
together again. Your ideas have become such a very definite part of my life and the real you 
is so close to me. I feel that I love everyone more because I love you so much - and it is you 
more than any other influence that is helping me to love God as I would like to. I realize 
more and more that it is not enough to just suddenly decide to love God and your neigh- 
bor. I can never thank you enough for all you have done to help me on the Way, and I know 
you will be so pleased with the word in Simone's letter of the people you have helped so 
much. And dearest I thank you from my heart for the things you say in this letter. "Or eel 
effort, precisement, Lucile, vous savez queje le congois guhe sans vous". Do you know 
what that means to me? that you still find a definite place for me in your life and work!! 
These bits of "warmth" mean so very very much dear. I feel so terribly lonely at times - but 
when I know that you have need of me too - well that gives me not only happiness but 
great peace. Remember dearest that I'm still a novice . . and your words of tenderness help 
so very very much. So very much to keep me faithful to all that I know is the BEST. 

I am so sorry about your book. I do hope there are not serious obstacles in the way 
. . / hope so MUCH that it will be published. The Wileys are now down in South America 
as Minister . . I forget which country . . I will write and ask her about the copy she had. It 
is undoubtedly here somewhere. I do so hope and pray that you are going to be free to 
express yourself in Prance. You will see how MUCH you are needed and how wicked it 
will be if you are not allowed to talk. The church seems to have done so VERY little -cer- 
tainly in this country one does not feel any REAL modern vitality and "will to do" . . It 
seems all along the same old lines - and dear there has been a GREAT REVOLUTION in 
the world - and man needs God more than ever - with his diabolical new inventions - but 
he can't get to him REALLY through the old forms and formulas. The age of air and 
atomic energy is not the same as it was 2000 years ago, nor even what it was 100 years 
ago. The communists have so much more drive and force and HOPE for Brotherly love - 
but they don't have enough. How I do go on - and you know all this so well - but Pierre 
you will feel it so much more when you are in the west - after all you people have been 

pretty much isolated for a long time. I'm so glad that this time has helped to further and THEIR 

clarify your ideas - but now to present them will be the next important step - and that is a 1941 " 48 


VERY important one. You will find a way I am sure, you love man too much not to find it. 

I was so interested in all your news and gossip . . poor old Grabeau . . probably uj 
the Flying Angel was a blessing . .She has been very faithful. I am so sorry for Eleanor 
that she does not hear from Faure. oh how long the time must be . . Yes she is such a fine 
person, do give her my love . . and Peking will surely seem not the same without the Bar- 
docs . . lamsoglad tohear that they are so happy. I have tried to call Tillie togiveheryour 
message but she must be home, her family live very near here .Ado hope you two will 
meet in Shanghai. 

I am waiting now for Nathalie to come in for tea . . they will be leaving Washing- 
ton in a few days . . so many are beginning to go now . . It is like Peking in that way, and 
especially now with the war finished, lots of bureaus are being closed up. 

I hope you will soon find a good boat for France . . / shall be terribly disappointed 
if you do not go through the States . . but at the same time I will so well understand . . 
everything is SO expensive these days, but DO come this way if you can!!! 

Thanks so much dearest for your precious letter and I will soon have your paper 
which will help again to make you even more close. 

This is the interesting part ofSimone's letter. "We haven't had letters from the P. 
but my husband just back from Paris, heard he was on board a ship, and was to land in 
France in a few days. It was very bitter news for him who had waited so long for a passage 
home, to miss him thus. Everybody is anxious to see him and hope to be able to read all he 
has written. Max was stranded 4 days at the Azores and his room mate, a Frenchman 
former prisoner of war, said that at his camp the P's theories had helped many men, him- 
self included. He was an atheist and Max says he is now an apostle! This gentleman is the 
"Directeur" of Car tier and on his way to New York. Another man, the former "aumonier" 
of the Marquis du Vercors, now deputy, a priest quite overpowered by the P&re's philoso- 
phy and who had copies of my impressions. So I think Lucile dear, the best one can do for 
the moment, is to spread his thot as much as possible. For the moment, until we can corre- 
spond it seems the only thing to do, but happier days are close and we shall hear from 

Well Pierre I feel so sure that somehow the time has come for you to talk and the 
way will be opened — and I do pray from the bottom of my heart that everything will go 
the way you want it to. I mean that there will not be difficulties put in your way for free 

and wide expression France seems to need her best sons so very very much. I can so 

well understand that that is where your heart must be —for myselfilV. I cannot see my 
place in the picture for the time being, but somehow Pierre I do feel sure that some time 
some place we can work together again. I can't deny that I feel a great void in me. I sup- 
pose I was some haw HOPING that you might be here in America - but I know that 
France is right and now is the time for you to give your great gift — as for the future? 
Perhaps later we will be back in China!! who knows — but that you will share some of 
your life with me, tho it be only letters — will help — and I still hope that I may see you 
on your way to France. 

I am so sorry about your book. I know how much it means to you (and should be 
a part of the world's knowledge) -soldo hope you will be able to get it published when you 

TEILHARD are there -it is so much easier to TALK about it — gee but I will be glad when you are 
& LUCILE fi m iiy i\ wte _ y 0U mu$ t be just bursting with all the good that is stored up in you!! and 
CORRESPOND NQW ^ [{m ^ cQmU ^ . $ ^ excHing 


With the end of World War II (summer, 1945) and the establishment of the United Nations 
(winter, 1946), more and more news came through from Peking. Indeed, Teilhard's March 5 
letter (carried by hand to Washington) reached Lucile long before her March 4 letter 
reached him — if it did. Lucile's carbon is incomplete. 

1217 Thirty-Fourth Street N.W. 

Washington, D.C. 

March 4, 1946 

Dearest, - 

/ have just been reading again and studying "Vie et Planttes " . . and it was so 
like talking to you and made you feel SO close . . and after some time I got up and made 
myself a cooling and stimulating drink ..and I almost felt as if you were sharing it with 
me!! I've had so many of these "mentally shared" things!! how long will it be before we 
will really share things again?? Some day I am so sure ...and two days ago came a letter 
fram Jane Smythe telling me of her trip to Peking and her visit with you!! Oh Pierre Noth- 
ing has made you seem more close!! Bob Drummond told me things about this and that!! 
but with Jane you were so yourself and so my dear friend . . she didn't tell me much . . but 
somehow her long ringing of your bell and the coolie slowly coming and then you not rec- 
ognizing her at first and the burst of enthusiasm when you did!!! I can even see the 
expression of your eyes when you realized who she was!! (no wonder you did not know 
immediately with her dropping in like that +++) and then when you said goodbye and said 
you felt almost as if you had seen me!! I can see it all so clearly and it is SO GOOD to 
know that you are still and even more YOU!!! 

But to get back to your dear "egg" ..It is indeed along the same line of thought . 
. but so much deeper and it is so really exciting . Oh Pierre I do so hope you are going to 
teach these things in Paris. It is so absolutely MODERN in approach and so deeply 
thoughtful and STIMULATING!! I sent a copy to Simone . . I hope you have received my 
last letter with the one from her enclosed ..lhad one two days ago from Nirjidma . . says 
Michel is not getting better "no illness, just nervously run down " . . also said she had just 
been to the Jesuit Mission but no word about your return!! 

FT wouldn 't it be easier to get passage from Shanghai? how did the Burcharts get 
theirs? of course it may be a matter of finance!! In which case, well, I don't know what . . 
but Tillie was saying that there are so many Navy boats of one sort or another that you 
could surely get on IF you were in Shanghai . . wouldn't it be a good idea to go down 
there? 1 realize that 1 don't know a thing about the circumstances ..but lam so anxious 
for you to be on your way . . 1 still do not give up hope that you can come this way . . but 
in any case for you to get going seems so important . . / know that even with all your won- 
derful control etc you DO get impatient!! and I should think you would now be just about 
at the end of the string.. 

All of which does not say much . . perhaps tliat is why you do not write, the last I 
heard was the short note enclosed in the one ofLeroy's to Mile Saizeau of Dec. 20 . . there 

Peking, March 5, 1946 THEIR 
Dearest, LETTERS 

I give this letter to my dear friend Mme de Margerie (the wife of the 
bright diplomate) who is leaving tomorrow for America, and plans to spend a 179 
few weeks in Washington. She is an exceptionally charming and intelligent 
woman, and a great friend of John Carter Vincent, whom she met in Shanghai. 
You will like her, and eventually help her in discovering some accomodation in 
Wash, for her and her vivacious daughter Diane. Why is it not possible for me to 
join them for the trip to America! Places are still extremely difficult to get on mil- 
itary transports, and so far I did not succeed, — mostly probably because I am 
not in Shanghai. In fact, this constant "incertitude" how, and when, and by 
which way to leave is the very reason for which I kept so silent with you since 
the beginning of the year. I hoped every new day to be able to write you some- 
thing positive about my plans. Presently, I have decided to go to Shanghai next 
week, — and from there to fly to France by India, unless (which is still quite pos- 
sible) I succeed in finding a boat to America at the end of March (that would be 
glorious!). Don't hope too much; but there is a hope! — / begin to feel more in a 
hurry to leave since I have received, two weeks ago, a cable from my first superior 
in France (a true friend) asking me to come back to Paris (aux "Etudes") as soon 
as possible. Besides, everybody in the French Colony of Peking is packing and 
gradually disappearing. The time has arrived for departure. 

I got all right your long letter of Jan. 29 (on your way back from Palm 
Beach) with the letter ofSimone and the little photo. Such things make me realize 
in what kind of "twilight" I have been living during the last years in the Peking 
"fish-bowl": when reading you, I feel the re-approach of the sea. After all, the 
most stringent reason for me to travel via America n'est-elle pas d'aller reprendre 
conscience de moi aupres de vous, dearest A bath of life, and a rejuvenation, 
before I reach the battlefield in Europe. I do not regret the last six months spent in 
Peking, at the hot point of treble contact between Communism, Democracy, and 
the rising Yellow Mass. I saw, I thought, and I learned a lot. But now I must try 
to talk and to act. You will give me the spark, — as you ever did. 

Two weeks ago, I had the surprise and the joy to see Jane Smythe drop- 
ping in my room, rue Labrousse. It was so sweet of her, — and we had such a 
delightful talk about you, and the friends of Washington. — She expects to leave 
Chungking, with Bob, and to come to Tientsin rather soon. — Franqoise Raphael 
plans to cross America in April; most probably you would see her. — Eleonore is 
still here, at the Wilhelms. Obviously she approaches a final decision with Faure 
(no more news of him): pro or con? May be Tillie will bring the final elements for 
the solution of the problem. 

Au revoir, pour cettefois, dearest. — / will let you know as fast as possible 
how my plans are evolving. - Eleonore will keep the books and papers you left me. 

En grande affection 

Herewith a snapshot: Leroy and myself. 

TEllHARD S.S. Strathmore. March 29, 1946 


Just a few lines to tell you that, unfortunately, I had to give up the hope 
180 to return via America! . . Following a friendly cable of my present superior in 
France (a dear and intelligent friend), urging my coming back to Paris (aux 
"Etudes", 15 rue Monsieur), 1 left Peking by plane a fortnight ago, to Shanghai. 
And there 1 discovered that places to America were so difficult to get that, in 
order not to be delayed too much, I decided to jump on a large British repatria- 
tion boat Airplanes in fact are almost just so slow on account of the crowd wait- 
ing in Calcutta. As you understand, I did not take this step without much 
disappointment But I feel that I must hurry up to France, for major reasons. If 
necessary, later, I might perhaps go to the States from France? Let us look for- 
ward optimistically. The boat, of course — a beautiful liner — is already 

crowded and we are sleeping in hamacs those being unfavourable conditions 

for writing. Anyways, there are several friends aboard, and I can keep alive. 
Already the work in France begins to appear to me as an approaching reality, — 
no more as a dream. As soon as I reach Paris (for the 1st of May, I suppose) I will 

write you about the conditions and the prospects. I will miss tremendously 

your contact before I start again. But I know that your loving spirit will be with 

Yours ever 


Paris, at last. 

15 Rue Monsieur 
Paris, May 8th, 1946 


Arriving here three days ago, I have found your precious letter of April 26, 
and the lovely picture (which I kissed immediately). Oh Lucile I still feel almost 
sick to have missed this crossing through America. But, really, I felt lost, in 
Shanghai, between the urgent calls coming from Paris, and the risk to be delayed 
for weeks if I did not decide for the "Strathmore". In fact Francoise Raphael, 
leaving a few days later to America by a boat (on which General Worton had suc- 
ceeded in getting me a place, but 1 did not know!!) has been disembarked in 
Guam, because the boat was suddenly shifted to New-Zealand and England. On 
the other hand, the Dubosc's had been positively refused to join de Margerie on 
the military transport (in spite of very strong support), so that I wonder if Colo- 
nel Mayer would have succeeded in my case. So, let us hope that I did the best. 
One thing remains: 1 need, for scientific reasons, to see people in the States. When 
things are settled here, and if politico-financial conditions are not too adverse, I 
wonder if I could not manage to go to America, and to stay there sometimes, more 
at leisure than if I had crossed in a hurry the continent Why not?. That would be 
really satisfactory and glorious. 

Well, in the meantimes I have reached Paris after a non particularly com- 

fortable, but easy trip. The trouble of the journey was the crowd and the noise: THEIR 
very difficult to establish contacts, — and simply impossible to work, line ^"^ 
traversee sans plaisir. Finally I spent my time with a limited group of good 
friends {from Tientsin and Shanghai: les Vayron, of the Franco-Chinese Bank, and \%\ 
two inginieurs). Some interesting and useful talks. But I could not write anything 
down, as I hoped. Some good books, too. I read with great pleasure the last novel 
of Aldous Huxley Clime must have a stop"), in which the germ of "Perennial 
Philosphy" is conspicuous. I think you will like it. 

And now I am here, since four days, still searching for my bearings. One 
thing is clear. I was warmly received, — and the atmosphere is much more favour- 
able for me than it ever was. But then I feel a little anxious. People are hoping, 
expecting too much from me, Lucile. lama poor, groping man, fighting too much 
for his own light and life. I am not a God. What can I do to help them? What com- 
forts me is to think that this internal experience of my weakness is probably my 
best chance of success. After all, my "fonction" is not to bring life to Man, but to 
show him a little better where Life is coming from. Anyhow, I realize deeply how 
superfluous would be my intellectual work if, at the same time, I do not increase 
my internal contact with the Fire which I dream to spread on the world. 

Naturally, my life in Paris is not yet organized. Aux Etudes, it is clear 
that I will have to meet a lot of people; and that my papers (articles) will be wel- 
come. Along the scientific line, I will try to develop my small Lab (aux Hautes- 
Etudes) (Labor, de geologie appliquee a I'Homme). But I did not yet meet enough 
people to plan anything precise. — As far as France is concerned, I am still con- 
fused. My first general impression is that people here are lost in a maze of petty 
interests and petty preoccupations: they do not perceive the main lines of world- 
development outside France, nor the main psychological currents inside the coun- 
try. — Judging from the "vote" of Sunday, rejecting the new Constitution, the 
Communists are loosing ground, and this is their fault (greedy, and selfish: 
Thorez turns to be a rich man, by now!). But I would hate a reaction. I must try to 
join Ida Treat (perhaps in Paris?) to get some inside lights on the Party. My best 
friends (in my order and around) seem to be somewhat prejudiced. In a confuse 
way, I feel that I would horrify the French if I tried to express clearly what I think 
about nations, races and collectivisation. I must proceed cautiously: but I will. 

Leroy left Peking by plane two days after me, but did not arrive here 
much earlier than me! I was delighted to see him again. He will probably stay a 
year in France. The future of the Institute of Geobiology is quite hazy. In any 
case, I remain an adviser to the Geological Survey: I keep open the way back to 
China. — The Begouens are expected in France, this summer. I am so anxious to 
see them. — 

I don't tell you but the half of the news. But I prefer to send you this letter 
fast. — More will follow. — 

I am so glad of the pictures. You are just the same, and even better!. 


TEILHARD 1217 34th Street 

&U1CILE Washington D.C. 

CORRESPOND May 10,1946 

182 And now today is my birthday!! and the last one we spent together wasfwe years 

ago in 1941. Little did I know then how long it would be before there would be another 
one!! but it was SUCH a happy day. 1 wrote in my diary how you came early, then we 
went to a lecture at the PUMC and came home for tea when you were very s weet and said 
many wise and beautiful and wonderful things!!! I'm sorry I did not write them down just 
as they were said!! so often you said such wonderful things - it is a pity I did not write 
them immediately. I remember another of my birthdays when we went to Central Pari: 
and I remember just where we sat -facing that lagoon near the west front of the Park!! and 
that day too you were particularly eloquent . . . Precious friend. The first thing 1 did this 
morning was to ask God to bless you and to thank Him for giving me this wonderful and 
beautiful friendship - which years and miles cannot change - on the contrary they make it 
always more rich and beautiful Thank you too Pierre for all that you have given me 
through many years. Let us go on as always - 

I am sure you must be very busy . . and how marvelous to really BE THERE 
instead of thinking and dreaming about it . . Do you know yet just what your work is to 
be? and how do you find Paris and France . . the reports sound rather bad, but reports are 
often so "concentrated" they do not give a true picture. 

I talked to Poney Burchard a few days ago, she was just here for a day, but expects 
to come back soon . . she told me much about you dear ..and I could see more clearly than 
ever what you all went through during the war . . \m sorry for some of those reasons that 
you did not get to America first . . well dear for EVERY reason!!!! I wonder if you have 
any special lacks in your diet now . . It would be such a pleasure to me to send things to 
you . . won't you please tell me if there is something you want ..?? 

Many friends are planning to go back to China . . you and Tillie must have just 
missed each other in Shanghai . . I have been trying to get a Chinese visa for Mile Saizeau 
. . which I am sure now will go through . . John Carter Vincent was able to help. I wish she 
could come to see me here before she returns to China ..but I imagine her funds are not too 

I am sure you are going to be very busy therefor some time and will probably not 
want to even think of coming here!! but still there just MIGHT be some opportunity . . 
and Pierre PLEASE take it . . If something should Irnppen that might make it possible for 
you to come IF you had the cash . . won't you my dear let me do it? I know you do not like 
to do this . . but these are most extraordinary times when formulas do not hold so much . . 
I'm sure I could raise the money easily and as you know NOTHING would give me more 
pleasure . . Maybe you are very rich!!! but I write this just in case there might be an 
opportunity that you would not be able to avail yourself of, because of lack of finds . . . 

I find several letters to you which I never sent as I did not know you would still 
be there . . one in regard to Jane Smythes visit to you . . she wrote me all about it.. I sup- 
pose they are not in Nanking . . . I wonder what lias happened to Mme Raphael? M. de 
Margerie wrote her tliat I would love to have her visit me here but I've never heard a word 

"One of the Imperial City's lovely parks and not far from the beautiful chain of urban 
waters called by the Pekinese the South, the Central, and the Northern lakes. 

U- fW Ai W. 

Detail from map of Peking in the 1930s. Courtesy of American Express. 

TE1LHARD from her . . perhaps she went directly through . . The Burchards are bokingfor an apart- 

& LUCILE ment in New York . . They say Otto is well and Pony FINE . . . 

Pierre it is wonderful to think of you so close . . after all it took less than a week 

104 now to get a letter!!! isn't that wonderful . . when one of yours from Peking took two and a 

half years . . 

I wonder so much how you find France and the morale of the people and what you 
think can be done to give people FAITH again . . well some day I know you will write to 
me and give me a few of your ideas . . and maybe su ggestions too!! Until the time that we 
can talk again.. 

Yes my loving thoughts are always with you ..and I know that you are going to 
give SO much to France and will be such an inspiration to your colleagues (not that that 
interests me SO much) . . . there are SO many who want and need you so much more than 
they do— as you know dear the lost sheep has great value!! 

And now I must go.. It is so hard to stop . . sometimes you feel so close tome.. 

1217 Mth Street N.W. 
Washington D.C., May 11, '46 

Your precious letter from Paris came about a week ago . . it was so your old self 
and you seem so close . . it made me very happy!! Pierre I'm sure that you did make a good 
decision, even if my heart does not agree, for you might have been delayed here and now 
you are there and soon you will know how things are and what may be your future moves 
— It would, WILL, be so wonderful when you come herefrom there, when you have time 
and your mind is more at ease, and in the meantime it must be very good to be making 
contacts with your old friends there ..and I hope you will soon have your life more or less 
organized!! I don't like to think of its getting TOO organized there!!! 

Your trip sounds like so many these days. I had a note from Tilliejust as she was 
arriving in Shanghai, saying she sliared a cabin with four women and five children!!! I 
wonder what has happened to Mme Raphael? Mme de Margerie wrote her that I would be 
so happy to have her stay with me here . . but I've never heard from her . . Mile Saizeau is 
still in Chicago, having difficulty getting her Chinese visa . . Through the Vincents I think 
it is all fixed . . but now the news from China is so bad, it makes one hesitate to go there 
just now. I was so pleased with the photograph you sent me, but I cut it in two and sent 
the Leroy half to Saizeau!!! She has had some hard times, but I think on the whole it has 
not been too bad.. I invited her to come here if she would like a look at Washington before 
she goes back . . but she does not yet know what she will do . . 

Just now I am waiting for Betty Vincent; she is bringing a man from the best Art 
Gallery here to see my stuff . . do hope he likes it well enough to give me an exhibit this 
fall. I am quite sure I can get one in New York if not here . . but Id rather make contacts 
here . . I've just finished the portrait head of a darling little boy of a friend ..and I so hope 
to get some commissions . .it is very hard to constantly work for "Arts Sake"!!! but it 
also takes time to get established in a new place ..I get discouraged, but after all I've only 
been here 7 months . . and NO ONE any place is very interested in Art these days. Well 
they are pretty terrible days ..and I do wonder what you think of France now . . what you 
say about being absorbed in petty interests is what every one reports . . it is understand- 
able ..but sad.. I hope you have found Ida Treat and heard from that side of the fence 

It seems to me the Russians are being most difficult and arbitrary just now . .lam so THEIR 
sorry, because they can give so much . . so can we all!!! when will people stop trying to 1941 ' 48 
grab things and stop to think of how much they can give and how much they can learn 
from each other!! Ym sure we agree very well about these things . . / hope you may have ^5 
some influence on your crowd - they seem to be just about the most conservative and reac- 
tionary influence in the world. I don't mean your immediate gang, but the organization as 
a whole which is a pity because they could do so much - and it seems to the outsider as if 
they are doing nothing constructive, which brings me to what you say about . . what can 
you do?? oh darling I do so know how you feel . . $0 many expect so much of you!! and 
just how to do it!! well just by BEING yourself you do so much . . H If somehow your 
light can dispel the DOUBT and FEAR . . so predominant in everyone, or nearly all . . 
and Pierre I know how much people want to feel tliat it matters what they do individually, 
in their own little lives - that it counts. I know you stress this in your writings and your 
philosophy (as I understand it) NEEDS the effort of every single soul to succeed - there- 
fore we each do matter and it is important what we do - but everything is so big and there 
is so much that people feel lost and finally it doesn't seem to matter anyhow, each one can 
do so little etc. etc. - a terrible long and strong chain tliat wrecks $0 many. You can give 
them courage and that is so very much - and your Light is so strong, so sure, it will be 
seen and give warmth to so many, who will eventually revive and start to BUILD. Oh 
Pierre how I wish I could talk to you - and there are several things I regret $0 much that 
we never talked about very much - things which seem simple to you probably but in which 
seem so difficult to me!! for instance, I think meditation would be SO useful these days - 
not just prayer, but the kind of thing you do on your retreats - and I don't know quite 
how!!! does that seem dumb to you? it is really true. I mean certain kinds of exercises 
which would help so much to make one FEEL, to REALIZE the things tltat your mind 
accepts very easily the nearness of Christ, the oneness of Life etc . . 

Have you read Wilkies "One World "? there is a newer book out, "One World or 
None "!! how long before man is going to accept this and live accordingly?? there is still 
VERY much greed in the world - and I'm afraid Evolution has not yet reached the place 
where men are going to live by the Golden Rule!! You probably read about all the strikes 
here - sometimes it is hard to know just who is right, but mostly the employers have not 
wanted to be fair . . . Well all this is hard to write . . but Pierre it is so wonderful to know 
that you are THERE and that this will reach you in a few days . . Oh I'm SO Jtappy that 
you are out of China!! it seems SO far away now, in spite of the many friends who are 
returning . . I wrote you a letter there about your latest pamphlet that Bob Drummond 
brought but think it was not sent!! so I will leave that until next time ..IwasSO glad to 
have it and to realize how you progress so deeply in the same lines. 

All my love dearest, it is wonderful to have you $0 near!!! 

Paris, June 18, 46 


Pardon me if I did not answer earlier your precious letter of May 22. / am 
still simply submerged in the Parisian life, — people (every kind of people) call- 
ing, telephoning, asking for papers or for lectures all day long. The whole thing is 
extraordinarily interesting and exciting. But no time is left for writing; and let- 
ters, unanswered, are piling up on my table. A good thing, indeed, that July is 

TEILHARD coming when most people will leave town for the summer vacations. Just now, I 

&LUC1LE am Durn i n o th e CO al which I have accumulated during the seven past years in 

quiet Peking. But, at the same time, I get a lot of new material from my present 

186 experiences, and very soon I must start writing some new Essays, or even another 
hook (for instance on the "Noosphere"). It is only when talking with human 
beings that one can realize what is exactly important to select and to say in what 
one thinks. - My old papers are spreading everywhere, at the most unexpected 
places. Several of the new ones (VEsprit nouveau, La Planetisation humaine) are 
going to he published before the fall. "Vie et Planetes" was re-published in the 
"Etudes" in May, and made somewhat a "sensation". On the other hand, I will 
try during the summer, to push for a second time the publication of my book on 
the Phenomene Humain. And maybe I will succeed. Obviously, in the midst of the 
present political chaos, there are plenty of evidences of a kind of religious revolu- 
tion: the re-birth of God. In the roman-catholic clergy the disgust is obvious for 
the old, claustrated, type of priesthood: not to be separated anymore from, but to 
participate at the utmost with human anxieties and hopes, has become now the 
dream and the ideal of our best young men. - So, I feel hopeful for the future, - and 
so happy to have got my chance for helping the metamorphose, - and so "ten- 
derly" aware of what you did for keeping me alive. Because you really have been, 
— and are, — life for me, Lucile. And you know it pretty well, — and I too. 

In such a turmoil, days are passing too fast. In fact I am still just camped 
as the first day of my arrival in Paris. No time for looking at my things. The 
mornings I usually spend in my room, — mostly seeing a continuous chain of 
people. Afternoon, I go to various places in town to see friends. Every week I have 
one or two or three evening talks in philosophical circles. That is really life! 

Plenty of old friends here. Leroy has embarked in a series of biological 
studies, and will remain in Paris the next year. Guy and Laurette Dorget are stay- 
ing in the nice appartment of pretty mother, a Passy (Guy is working aux Affaires 
Etrangeres, in a section of UNESCO), surrounded by a circle of young people and 
old ambassadors or Academicians. At a dinner they gave me, I met Ambassador 
and Mrs. Guillaume (ambassador in Paris). Baronne Jules (as poor Raphael used 
to call her) was charming, but clearly showed me that she resented I should not 
have called to her earlier, — and unfortunately I have no± yet paid to her any call 
(no time!), a fact which makes me feel a bit uncomfortable, now. — / have met 
Baudet (an important man, now, au Quai d'Orsay), but not yet Jacqueline. Les de 
Margerie have also settled here. Roland has left for a while active service (one of 
the many blunders of the so-called epuration) and seems to enjoy thoroughly the 
life in Paris. Yesterday we have visited together a marvelous exhibition of all the 
Gobelin tapestries preserved in the French collections. — Ida Treat (Bergeret) is 
back from her Brehat island, —full of life, as usually. She looks happy, and her 
husband is now in a rather high position, which he really earned. The two 
Begouens are still in Casablanca, somewhat tired physically, it seems. The busi- 
ness of Max is prosperous. But both of them need France. We hope they will come 
back this summer. Nirgidma has turned into a really impressive and dignified 
person. According to the last news, Michel Breal (who was made "conseiller 
d'ambassade") is going to Peking (!!) this fall, - so that Nirgidma will be the mis- 

tress and the hostess of the French Embassy, in dear Legations Quarters! — Life THEIR 
is so strange, sometimes! 1941-48 

Good bye, dearest I hope material life is not too hard for you And still 
more I hope your work keeps you busy and interested inside. We are very little, IS7 
and so powerless as far as politics are concerned. But at least we can do our best 
so that the spiritual "temperature" of the Earth might be as high as possible: and 
finally this is the most important thing for Life. 

With best love 


I will probably spend a few weeks in the south during summer (August). I will let 
you know. In any case, write me here. 

The following incomplete letter (right-hand edge missing on the carbon) may be either 
the June 15 or the June 30 letter that Teilhard mentions in his letter to Lucile from Paris 
on July 16. 

June 1946 

that so much more completely . . It is SO good that your thoughts are developing 
along this same direction . . well of course they really could not do otherwise!! The funda- 
mental TRUTHS are always the same . . but your presentation and development are SO of 
TODAY which is so very very necessary . . oh how I do want to talk to you! I had a long 
good letter from Simone recently written May 11 and they had not yet had direct news 
from you., but of course communications must be fairly simple now and how happy she 
and Max will be to be in close touch with you again . . Poor girl was in the hospital . . she 
does SO much and has not too good health . . one of the REALLY beautiful people in this 
world . . and how fortunate I was to know her . . thanks to you!! and Pierre what a trea- 
sure are those years of our close association . . Simone also said Max had seen close friends 
of yours, Perel who said they had at last awakened to what a fine fellow you are!! (only she 
did not express it quite that way) . . but I'm SO SO glad dearest for you . . and for the 
OTHERS is especially THEY who will benefit if at last you are going to be allowed to 
talk!! and now maybe your precious book can be published . . oh how I do hope so . . Have 
you heard anything more about it? 

I am expecting Mile Saizeau next week for a visit with me.. She has at last got- 
ten her Chinese Visa, with the help of the Vincents . . and so I suppose she will soon be 
going back to China . . It will be good for her to see something more of USA before she goes 
back ..she has not had an easy time of it in Chicago so I hope she can have some fun here 
before she goes back, and Washington is so beautiful now, it will give her a better view of 
America . . Chicago is really pretty TERRIBLE . . 

Did you hear that de Terra was down in Mexico looking for remains of early 
man? I saw it in a magazine early this spring . . I've not heard from Rhoda and have not 
been to New York except for a very few days, since I left there . . I'll be up there early July . 
. but she will probably be away by then . . 

Do you remember the little house of Nathalie's where we went for a picnic when 
we were staying with her? she has loaned it to me for the summer . . and Betty and John 


TEILHARD Carter are going up too early in July and then when John has to come back Betty and I will 

& LUCILE $ia y m m tn September . . Rose Jameson will come up for a few weeks and probably other 

CORSES N frfayis # oh Michael Jameson was married last week!!! can you believe he is old enough? 

188 a lovely girl and Rose is very happy about it . . Erika von den Steinen and family are going 

to occupy my house while I am away ..He is teaching in the Navy school and has just 

been transferred here . . It will be nice to have them here this winter .Ado hope they will 

be able to find some place to live . . EVERYwhere housing is so difficult . . 

Pierre I sent a box to you about 10 days ago which should arrive early in July . . / 
sent chocolates, toffee, soap, shaving things etc . . I do so hope they will be some cf the 
things you want and do so hope you will tell me WHAT to send is a really great plea- 
sure for me to send things to you . . but it would be so much easier if I knew WHAT you 
want and need . . so many send dried fruit, tinned meat, cheese . . but living the way you 
do, \'m not sure what to do.. PLEASE tell me . . and what about socks? or such things . . . 

A friend had a long letter from Tillie, but she did not say anything about Eleanor 
Tafel and her problems . . I wonder if you have had any news of Fame? Tillie is now in 
Nanking and seems very happy to be back in China . . but life seems to be very expensive 
and since you have left there, it seems SO far away and for the time being I am not making 
any plans at all about returning. I saw the Burchards here a few weeks ago . . Otto still 
looks very thin and in a short time he told me a great deal of gossip!!! Especially about 
Jacques Bardac and Hart(?) . . I suppose you have heard of the latter's death . . it occurred 
on the trip to the USA and they do not know if it was accident, violence or suicide . . There 
was evidentally some scandal but I forget the details!! Bob Drummond is back in Peking . 
. The Bill Drummonds are still here . . Helen is having another baby in a few weeks so now 
they will have to wait until she can travel again before they go out. Petro and Barbara 
expect to return to Hong Kong this fall. Did Grabau die before you left China? Poor old 
dear, I wonder how many volumes of his great opus he had finished . . and what will 
become of the "Pulsation They Well all that must seem very far away to you now. 

I am still working at sculpture nearly every day, but my time has been some what 
interrupted lately by so many guests, but after all people are VERY important . . My 
"Spirit of the Earth 

Since it was now five years since the war had separated them, their hopes to meet seemed 
increasingly ephemeral, perhaps more to Lucile than to Teilhard. 

Paris, July 16th, 1946 
Read this letter on a sheet of white paper. My ink is too weak! 


So many thanks for your two letters of June 15 (with the clipping (excel- 
lent) ofW. Lippmann) and June 30. Lucile, I am so afraid you should think that I 
think less of you because my letters are so scarce. But it is not true. The truth is 
that you are always more the same for me, — but that I can scarcely find the time 
to seat quietly a few minutes at my table in order to scribble the more urgent 
answers to business letters which constantly arrive when I hope to have a quiet 
hour. — Well, I do not complain too much, since I am sure that you would 
approve, and tell me that I must go on, and follow the wind, when it blows. — 


And it is still blowing. - Since my last letter, I still had to deliver several speeches THEIR 
(on "Personnalisation et Collectivisation"; on" V amour de Involution", — to 80 1941 ^_ 
young new priests of Paris, — perhaps I told you already); and 1 wrote a rather 
good short article on "Les retentissements spirituels de la bombe atomique", — jgg 
to be published in "La Revue de Paris", probably. — Due to innumerable talks, 
ideas are pouring in my brain, and there are many "eggs" I would like to lay. The 
first work should be to readjust someway the famous book, you know on "Le 
Phenomine Humain". I will try to do it during the summer, with the help of a few 
wise friends. — Just now, people are leaving town. My own plan is to join, on 
about August the 5th, a group of friends near Besanqon, for a holidays-sympo- 
sium. Later, I would go to Auvergne, -for the wedding of a niece (the daughter of 
my dear late brother, in the country). I will be back here, in Paris, on Sept. 20. In 
the meantimes, you can always write me here: letters will be forwarded. I am 
glad that you should enjoy your own vacations. 

Here, I remain in contact with several " Chinese" friends. Roland de Mar- 
gerie will remain sometimes "en disponibilite" — but most probably will rise 
again, someday. The two Dorget are just the same delightful, enthusiastic chil- 
dren. Laurence Castellet has found national funds to rebuild the family castle, 
burnt by the Germans the last days of the war. A fortnight ago, I was invited by 
the Guillaumes to an impressive lunch, where I met (and had an 112 hour of pri- 
vate talk) with Queen-mother Elisabeth, — certainly a most remarkable person. - 
Leroy is not living in the same house as myself; but I see him often. We remain 
extremely close friends. — / was so pleased that you could see Franqoise Raphael. 
Did she mention to you the death of her mother? — 

Well, I stop here — after several interruptions. I will write you again, 
before leaving for vacation. — So far, I do not need any support for food, etc. — 
Cigarettes would be appreciated: but taxes are so heavy that I would be soon bro- 
ken if you started sending me any. — Ifl need something, 1 will let you know, 

1J2MTS so much +++ 


— / have received a letter from Weidenreich. The Rockefeller Foundat. elected me 
"associated Professor": one link more with America! 

Les Moulins (Auvergne), Sept. 8th, '46 


1 am so sorry to be so late in my letters (yesterday I got your wonderful 
letter of Aug. 31, — the one of July 30 1 received just at the time of my departure 
from Paris). Since six weeks, I am moving almost continously, most of the time in 
places where sending an air-mail letter to America seems to be an "affaire". 
Hence my "retard", which is no proof that I did not think of you: your letter was 
always there to remind me of you. 

Just now, and since a week, I am in the old and comfortable house of my 
Parisian brother, in the heart of Auvergne. The house lies in the deep of the fields 
and of the woods, facing a marvelous landscape: first, a series of rolling hills, — 

TEILHARD then the plain (la Limagne), — then, right on the west sky, the full series of the 

&LUCILE vo lcanoes; — and the lofty Mont Dore, in full also, at the right Yesterday, the 

sunset was marvelous. 1 am planning to stay here up to the 18, day on which I 

190 wM perform the marriage of a niece a few miles away (the daughter of the dear 

brother I lost in 1941). Then, on about the 20, 1 shall be back in Paris. And the real 

life will start again. 

Here, 1 am really resting, physically and mentally (although I have a few 
things to write). In August, 1 met a lot of friends, mostly of my Order, first near 
Ddle, — then in Besangon (a funny old town: was not your dear French grand- 
mother from somewhere there?), — then in Lyon, near which I made my 
"retraite". - Everywhere I had a busy, but interesting time. Two of my most influ- 
ential friends took the time of reading the manuscript of my book (he Phenomkne 
humain) and agreed that the critics made in Rome were nonsense, so that the 
thing should be published. Much depends on the type of "General" we are going to 
get. Elections will be finished before a week. Everybody seems to be hopeful. — 
Several articles of mine (4) were supposed to be published this summer, or this 
fall, - two written in Peking, and two last June in Paris. I did not yet see them. 
Two more are ready in my head. I will send you what I can. 

I deeply realize, dearest, what you say about personal contact. And I long 
myself for America. Be sure that I will do my best in order to go there at the first 
chance. But, just now, I am not in the position to decide. So much depends on the 
political and financial conditions of the world! In case China would not settle 
the next year, I am trying to organize a short trip to South-Africa, with the help 
of President Smuts and Breuil. De Terra might perhaps come. We hope vaguely a 
support from the Rockefeller Foundation. This might be reason for me to cross the 
sea, to New-York??! 

Good bye, dear, — I give this letter to my brother who is going to Paris 
for a few days. When I left Paris, your "free-of-tax" cigarettes had not yet 
arrived. And they may be there by now. I will let you know. They would be highly 
appreciated! But already I enjoy the thought that you had the idea to try to send 
them to me. So sweet of you. 

Yours ever 


I enjoy every bit of news you send me on the friends of America. Of course, I 
remember the picnic with you and Nathalie: I can still visualize almost every 
detail! Do tell her, and Betty, etc., my deep regards. 

Paris, November the 7th, '46 


Your two letters of October 20 and 29 have come to me almost at the 
same time. And I feel somewhat "desperate" to have kept you waiting so long. At 
the root of the silence don't search anything else but the true fact (which you will 
understand, knowing me as you do) that I was busy writing feverishly a paper to 
be ready before the end of October, — a work to which I could only devote a short 
time every morning, between telephone calls and people coming to talk in my 

room. But, in spite of all, my letter of August 15, 1938, remains true. By the deep- THEIR 
est of me I am still leaning on you and I rely on you. Only and simply life is going 1941 " 48 
on along its logical, and yet lovable way: less and less I belong to myself Such 
you took me, and such you must keep me and bring me forward ahead of me. and ^92 
such you will find me, or rather we will find each other at the heart and core of 
ourselves. Yes. And yet I feel that a real contact, a real talk would bring and give 
so much to me. Let us hope that the marvel will become true, soon. 

Here, since my return from Auvergne, life goes on the same way, rather 
hectic, but interesting, or even exciting. New contacts and new possibilities are 
pouring every day. The difficulty is to select and to build something coherent 
using all this material. On the other hand, the sky is not perfectly clear in the 
direction of Rome. The fundamentalists are trying to counter-attack, down there. 
And although there is no serious danger in the air, I am friendly requested by my 
Order to refrain from being too openly conspicuous. For instance I had to give up 
a lecture to be given in Bruxelles last week, and for which I had prepared the 
paper which kept me silent with you last month. But, be quiet: the paper will be 
published in January, in a scientific review, just the same; and there is no diffi- 
culty for the case of several talks which I am going to deliver at two "superior" 
schools in Paris. On the whole more things remain to be done than I can handle. 
So everything is all right. I still hope to be able to publish the Phenomene 
Humain (which I wrote in Peking in 1940, you remember). My ideas have some- 
what advanced since six years; but I could make use of this progress in a sort of 
Summary at the end of the book without recasting the whole thing, which seems 
to me an impossible task. I was going to have a small symposium in Toulouse 
with a few influential friends, to decide the matter, next week. But 1 heard this 
morning that the meeting was somewhat postponed (perhaps only for a few 

I get more and more friendly here with Dr. Needham (English) one of the 
heads of UNESCO. Last week, he brought me, near Boulevard St Michel, to a 
Persian restaurant, together with a certain Mrs. Weltfish (of the Department of 
Anthropology, Columbia University) on her way back from a Women Congress in 
Moskow. Everything was so exotic and so strange in this place that I had the feel- 
ing to be hundreds miles from Paris, - at large again. The spirit of wandering is 
not yet dead. During October I had also a dinner with Julian Huxley (executive 
secretary of UNESCO), but with Breuil and a few others, so that I could not con- 
tact him on the vital points. But I sent him a monthly with a recent article of 
mine (also about "planetisation" and he answered me that we were very close. 
The same day I had had lunch with Marshal Smuts (the author of Holism, you 
know), and we felt very close too. This last meeting with Smuts was motived by 
possible going to South Africa next summer (for two or three months) in order to 
study the fissures containing Australopithecus remains, a South African Chouk- 
outien. If things materialize (it seems that money is coming) I should go there 
with de Terra. But nothing is definitely settled so far. Apparently, Johannesburg is 
not exactly in the dreamed line of Washington. But the reverse remains possible, 
because the money would come from the Vikings Foundation in New York, which 
means that I may have to go therefor some sort of reporting, after the trip. 

TE1LHARD J envy you for meeting so many old Pekinese friends. If you happen to see 

& LUCILE fh emf t e ii m y \, es t regards to the Lyons, to Mrs. Grew, and others. I forget none of 
them. Here, the Chinese friends belong mostly to more recent formations, of the de 
292 Margerie's time. Yet several of them you know. Francoise Raphael has recently 
arrived, just so alive as before: she is looking for a job in Paris. Gilbert also is 
here, an influential man in the diplomatic world; I met him recently, no more 
with his fair-haired Finlandaise, alas, but with a black-velvet-eyed Egyptian 
wife, of really striking appearance. Good luck for him. The Bardac's are expected 
in a few weeks: but you may see them in America before me. No news from Ele- 
onore. Did I tell you that the first thing I did here in May was to join Fame (now 
at the Legation of Budapest). I found him still playing with the idea of marrying 
her, and with a possible scheme to get for her a swiss citizenship (easy to get in 
her special case). But nothing could be decided, he thought rather wisely, before 
they could meet again and see how they felt after so many years. He told me that 
he was writing her a long letter (I did not tell him of course that Eleonore was 
losing patience and was rather friendly with an American boy). And then my 
fault was perhaps not to write myself to Eleonore. Now I lost her tracks, and 
present address. I hope she does not think that I ever forgot her. If by chance you 
happen to meet Mrs. Wilhelm in Washington, please, tell her the situation. 

And now good bye, dearest. I must run out for two appointments, this 

Might this letter catch the first plane so that you be sure earlier that I 
remain so much 


If Teilhard received Lucile's November letter (the carbon is incomplete and has no closing), 
there is no evidence of a reply. 

1217 34th Street N.W. Washington D.C. 
November 30, 1946 

Dearest, - 

Your precious letter of Nov. 7 was waiting for me when I returned from New 
York about two weeks ago. I had been therefor nearly 5 days and had a grand time. I saw a 
number of old friends and Art exhibits etc etc and came home feeling quite stimulated and 
your letter just put the crown of happiness on the holiday . . I just went up for a change as 
I wanted to get away for awhile . . Among others I saw Malvina Hoffman, who was SO 
pleased to have some news of you . . the Jo Davidsons, who had just returned from Paris 
and were full of enthusiasm about the beauty of it!! also found that neither of those two 
sculptors had any commissions for work!! so it seems to be with most artists these days . . 
also Ernestine Evans who had news ofSimone!! but you have not mentioned her, which 
makes me so wonder if you all had not yet met!! I do so hope you have before now, for I 
know how much she was looking forward to seeing you!! 

Also I took to Ernestine the translation of "Planetisation " (?) -it seemed to me it 
read very smoothly and clearly - / do hope I got your proper meanings!!! am anxious to 

hear what she thinks of it. Was SO interested in your meeting with Julian Huxley!! I have THEIR 

just received a small book by Aldus Huxley . . " Science Liberty and Peace " . . . which I 1941 ~ 48 


shall send on to you . . am anxious to see what he says . . as you know he has been greatly 

influenced by Eastern philosophy . . ^ 

Pierre I am SO sorry and distressed about the lecture to have been delivered in 

Bruxelles!! D I'm glad it will be published - but that is not quite the same thing!! I 

heard about this in NX!! and about other lectures in Italy etc. etc. that you will not be 
able to give!! all of which makes me very cross!! What you are doing and what you have to 
offer is the MOST important thing in the world today!! Don't those moyen age fundamen- 
talists realize ANYTHING of what is happening in the world today!!! while they are 
arguing about how many angels can sit on the head of a pin, the whole works will be 
blown to bits by the atom bomb!!! and what happened at the symposium in Toulouse to 
discuss the Phenomhne Humain ? Oh Pierre dear I do so VERY much hope that they are 
going to publish it. They just MUST do so - it must get out into the world!! and I thought 
everything was going so well and smoothly and that you were really liaving freedom to 

Oh and Ym so glad that you are seeing a lot ofDr Needliam and that the "spirit 
of wandering is not yet dead" ...and even tho South Africa is so VERY far away, Ym so 
glad that you will be getting away from Paris by tliat time!! they appreciate you more 
when they do not have you for too long . . and it will be good for you to be in the field 
again!! how I wish it were to be Chou KoutienH will that be opened again in time for us to 
be interested? 

No dear you did not write to me before about your meeting with Fame . . and it 
was naughty of you not to write to Eleanor!! but I wrote to Tilliejust as soon as I read 
your letter for she knows just where to get in touch with Eleanor . . I hope she has gotten 
really seriously interested in some American . . but she did not want to give up Fame . . 
they seemed to have so much to build on . . well maybe it will work out, but when I last 
heard Fame had not yet written to her . . how unkind men can be!!! Perhaps women too 
sometimes . . in fact when you realize how difficult it is to understand those nearest and 
dearest to us, it should not surprise us that the United Nations do not fully trust each 
other!!!!! No, man is still very young and has so very much to learn . . why is honesty so 
difficult?? and decency and kindness . . and greediness so universal? I suppose because it 
is the only thing that seems to give tangible results . . and we liave lost FAITH in a higher 
purpose . . in the only thing that will bring real and lasting happiness ..Oh I have found 
it SO difficult lately to keep my hold on what I know and wliat you have taught me . . You 
have no idea how I have longed for your letters and for a touch of your Faith and love . . . 

I went to see Rhoda de Terra in NY .. I suppose because I wanted news of you!! 
and I got it!!!!! but I won't do that again - she always acts as if I were a complete outsider, 
a casual friend and that she was directing your destinies!!! when she said how she was 
going to have you do this and do that, I remarked that maybe she did not know you as well 
as she seemed to think - oh and she said so much else; remembering your reaction to that 
letter of hers that you read to me, I was most astonished!!! and wondered if you knew - as 
she had much more recent news of you than I had - there was nothing I could say - in fact 
I did not want to say anything. I was deeply hurt by her and I don't really like her and I 
don't like - well you will be disgusted with "the ladies" -but I don't understand - she also 
said she expected to go to France, to Paris very soon!!!- 

TEILHARD Well be that as it may - Pierre forgive me for writing this, but I've gone over 

& LUCILE f/ijw fa satf ^ ft en { n those horrible nivht hours when one can't sleep!! so now maybe 

I've gotten it out of my system and can see how really unimportant it all is!! and if it had 

294 not been such a long time since Id heard from you etc. etc. etc. I would not have been so 

vulnerable - 

However your precious letter saying that the letter of yours of 38 still holds true, 

is REALLY important and oh so good. You see dear I'm still believing 

Paris, Dec. 18th, 1946 


I just receive your precious letter of Dec. the 13 (after the one of Dec. 5). 
Yes, I was just thinking of you when you wrote me, — and my Ste-Lucile mass 
was actually for you. - and quite naturally I was going to write you the same day 
when people came to see me. and everything was protracted once more. Now, at 
least, I am still in time to send you any possible wishes for Christmas and New 
Year, including prominently this one that we should meet somewhere and some- 
how during the coming year. Although (or rather because) everything is so much 
unsettled and so confused in my prospects of future, any kind of hope remains 
open and is permitted. Another New Year wish (the safest and the sweetest) is 
that during 1947 we shall grow closer and deeper to each other; and about this 
point 1 have no doubt, Lucile because since fifteen years it has been always so. 

Here my life is going on the same way. I had several talks to deliver, these 
last weeks, to various and interesting groups, including the most secluded and 
"laic" Ecole Normale Primaire and Ecole Normale Technique (at the first place 1 
was asked officially for two lectures). And, next January, I shall be still more 
busy: four scientific lectures in Sorbonne, one for the Musee Guimet (on the 
Neolithic of China), and two or three more on "human" subjects before large 
audiences and specialized groups (f.i. the leaders of the Young Workmen Associa- 
tion). That takes time. But on the other hand that obliges me to think over more 
and more deeply my perspectives on World and Life. The reactionary wave 1 told 
you in my last letter is still rolling (a new fundamentalist Review has just 
appeared, with a nice special article against me), but not dangerous. La percee est 
faite, 1 think; and, on the whole, my Order backs me. At the beginning of January 
1 will go to Toulouse in order to start the move for the publication of the 
Phenomene Humain. I am not yet sure to succeed, of course. 

Nothing substantially new concerning the South Africa business. De 
Terra can not come, unfortunately. And I have not yet money enough to bring 
with me young Blanc (from Rome). At the worst, I will go alone, for a first 
prospection. Abbe Breuil will be there in any case: he is leaving for Kenya and 
South Africa at the end of the month, and will stay therefor a year and a half. 

I have seen a lot the Begouen since October. Max has come for six weeks 
only (he is leaving on Christmas), rather overworked, but successful in his busi- 
ness. But Simone is in bed, since two months, with an attack of arthritis, care- 
fully attended by good doctors. Nothing really serious, but a matter of protracted 
care. She too has overworked herself during the war. She looks just the same, 
always smiling, vivacious and "angelique" as ever. Both of them send to you 

their heartiest regards. Ida Treat-Bergeret is constantly with her. She (Ida) looks THEIR 
very happy with her most serious, almost austere, husband (a very important ^l-M 
man, now), and she is busy writing a book for America. Leroy goes on teaching 
zoology and searching for hormones in a research-laboratory. Frangoise Raphael 195 
is with her father in Algeria up to the middle of January. 

It took me three days to write you this page. I hope you will get it in time 
for Xmas; may you be happy, Lucile, — and God bless you for all that you give 



15 Rue Monsieur, Paris 
Jan. the 29th, 1947 


Excuse me for being so late in answering your precious letter of J an. 9 
which made me so happy, — because I feel so happy when you are. In fact, this 
beginning of the year was for me a rather hectic time. First I had to go for a week 
near Toulouse in order to discuss with some influential friends the question of my 
book. Then I moved to Blois (of a meeting of the leaders of Young Christian Work- 
men. Then I started a series of public lectures, some about "ideas", and the others 
on scientific subjects. Among these latter ones, the most interesting are those I 
deliver in Sorbonne, on Chinese geology and prehistory. People seem quite inter- 
ested by what I say; and the task for me is really easy, since the only thing I do is 
to speak about things which I had seven solid years in Peking to mature in my 
mind. Now however I begin to emerge out of this duty; and, with the exception of 
a score of talks before various groups of advanced students, I have not much to do 
except to concentrate on several papers I would like to write. Tlie most tedious 
work I have to face is to readjust the famous book on "he Phenomene Humain". 
My friends positively hope that I shall be allowed to print it But now it is my 
turn not to be satisfied with the child. You know, my ideas have developped and 
improved (I hope) rather much since six years. People insist that I must publish 
nevertheless. But I do not like so much the idea. Practically, I will do my best to 
repolish the thing before Easter. And then I shall decide. In fact, I would prefer to 
write something entirely new. But where to find the time for it? . . I expect any 
day my last article (rather good, I think) — the non-given lecture in Belgium — , . 
and I will send it to you immediately together with two other things published 
this summer. So, you see, I keep sufficiently active. Daily talks with various peo- 
ple positively oblige me to go deeper in the questions, always more. And after so 
many years of seclusion in Peking, I like it. In the meantimes, I must keep my sci- 
entific platform. And this is the reason for which I am decided to do my best in 
order to materialize the trip to South Africa. But in that line things are still 
rather vague. I have written a few days ago to Camp, asking him whether I might 
in some way join and help his party. Breuil has left a month ago, and he is now in 
Kenya. Later on he will be in Johannesburg, for a year. — I was really excited 
when I read you about the possible prospect to join the Stantons in Siam. And if 
you would cross Paris on your way. That should be such a joy for me, Lucile. In 

TEILHARD any case it seems to me that it should be good for you to get once more in touch 
& LUCILE wifa the hig world 

Here, I see rather often Simone, who looks decidedly better, — so much so 
\% that she hopes to be able to go back to Morocco in the spring. The last time I went 
to see her, she had received your last letter, and she told me everything about your 
work. I feel it very sweet to talk of you with her, as if she were a common sister, 
"on both sides". In spite of her health you find her just the same as before. Ida 
Treat is extremely busy with a book she is writing for an american publisher. I do 
not meet her as often as I would like. Paris is not as good a place for meeting 
friends as Peking. 

And, finally Rhoda de T. made her appearance, searching some intellec- 
tual food for her novels. As you know I am sincerely fond of her. Unfortunately, I 
have very little time to spare. I do my best, but it is not easy, to see her. Luckily, if 
you think her possessive, she is not "demanding"; and, on the other hand, she is 
quite able to find her own ways by herself I think she will get all right with Ida, 
both of them being writers. Since she speaks but very little french, it is not partic- 
ularly easy to bring her in touch with many people who might be interesting for 
her. She did not give me very good news ofHellmut; and I am sorry for it, because 
I think he has several exceptional gifts and because I like him quite deeply. One 
man more who was not able to discover his faith and his God. Malvina H. wrote 
me a nice letter: she is busy helping her friend Mestrovic starting a studio some- 
where. But you know it, surely. 

Good bye, dearest. I will do my best not to be silent so much. But, even if 
I happen to be, forgive me, and do never doubt of my deepest thought and "affec- 

God bless you. +++ 


Lucile, however, was not reassured. Teilhard was busy and his letters were infrequent. He 
was evidently establishing a life in which she was no longer included. So his prospective 
trip to South Africa seemed to her an opportunity to renew their work and talks together. 

1217 34th Street NW, Washington 7 D.C. 
February 15, 1947 

Pierre, dearest, - 

Thank you for your precious letter of Jan. 29 which seems like magic after the 
long lean year. It is so wonderful to have such quick communication. 

You surely have been very busy since the New Year . . but what a good busines- 
s!!lt must have been quite inspiring to talk to the young workmen, — lean just see what 
an inspiration you must bell how I wish I could slip in and hear you sometime!! And the 
book ..Oh I can so well imagine how you feel about the "child" now!! and yet you cannot 
abandon it.. I do hope you will find a happy solution that will not require too much work. 
Yes I'm sure your ideas have advanced a lot . . One reason why I am SO anxious to get 


your papers . . and can hardly wait to read the non-given Brussels one . . is it particularly THEIR 
dangerous!! or just that it was a big meeting or what? I don't understand why it can be 
published if you could not speak it!! but I wont question and just be very happy that it has 
happened!! I shall make a translation . . principally because it makes me feel as if it were igy 
still "our" work!! Oh, Pierre, I read over a lot of old letters of yours the other evening 
(night) and you so often referred to OUR work! What gay, alive, loving letters! full of 
hope and discovery - but now I feel I have no part in tlie work - the separation, physical, we 
cannot help - but dear, I DO still have a part?? After all you are now reaping the harvest 
of the seeds we planted together those long years - and surely there will be more plantings 
and more discoveries - that is what makes our friendship so wonderful - because we are 
always searching a higher and clearer approach to the Great Center. Pierre, if I go along 
that path to the VERY BEST of my ability - that too is part of the work? I suppose I want 
so much to have something grand and wonderful to give to you - and all I seem to have is 
a very completely loving and searching heart! which has prayed so deeply and SO sin- 
cerely to be helped to keep on the spiritual path -for I KNOW (as you have so often said) 
that the more I love God, the more I will love you and the closer we will be. Another thing 
you wrote so very many times - "What is born between us is for EVER; I hww it". That is 
very sweet, FT, and I believe it too with all my heart - but somehow it makes me very 
happy to read it again in your very own writing. 

Oh Pierre, you know me too well for me to pretend that I was not disturbed by a 
part of your letter - but perhaps this very thing is making me take some real steps ahead 
because I have prayed so earnestly to see everything on a high spiritual level. It is not 
always easy - but that is the idea and I'm improving it!! I wish I had never gone to see her 
in NY. / don't know why she had to say all the things she did to me. I thought she was not 
going to Paris until spring - but I guess by the time she told me of her trip, I was too numb 
to be listening very carefully. I am so sorry this happened - and I really do not think that I 
could help it - well - 

I am so glad you are going ahead with your S. Africa plans, Pierre. It will be good 
for you to get in the field again -talking to all those people is splendid and now it will be 
good to have some time to digest it all - n'est-ce-pas ? Oh did I tell you tliat I have been tak- 
ing French lessons this winter so I won't forget everything I know of it - you see I too hope 
some day to have a need to use it!! When do you expect to go to S. Africa and where 
exactly? Jessie Camp told me where they were going but not knowing the country the 
name did not stick. I think they plan to leave in July - if you went then I don't suppose you 
would be back for 4 or 5 months!! It takes so long to make plans these days that I am think- 
ing about when I MIGHT go to Siam!!! but there is something I would much rather do - 
and that is to take the trip down on the same boat with you to S.A. I Itave Imd it in mind 
ever since I saw Jessie - do you think it fantastic!! it would be SO wonderful with time 
again!! tell me what you think. I suppose it is expensive but I can get the money - and I'm 
sure I can get a "business" connection so I can get the passports etc. 

D. St Clair (formerly Peking) was here for dinner last night . . she was in an 
American Consulate in Pretoria and told me lots!! she says the country is fantastically 
lovely . . is Mrs Waln(?) Susanne, still down there?. D. St Clair is now about to go back to 
Peking!! Said Helen Burton is still in Honolulu and will not go back until things have 
quieted down a bit . . Rose met Mrs. ST. Wang in New York . . who said to tell me NOT to 

TEILHARD go back now . . not for several years!!! but China is the kind of place that MAY be quite 
& LUCILE livnMe <&,„ # # ana - may ^JQT . . 

I heard a lecture Thursday . . went with Mrs Bill Mayer ..byDr Pfeffer who has 

198 just returned from several months in China ..and he was MOST discouraging . . what 
are leroy's plans . . will he return to Peking? has the Institut Geo-biologie been given up 
or only closed temporarily? Oh it is exciting to even TALK of going places again . . 

It makes me VERY happy to think of you and Simone talking of me and my work! 
she is such a lovely person . . how I do want to see her again . . but for her sake I do hope 
she will be able to go home this spring . .am so very glad that she is getting better. Why 
not stop in Morocco too!!! 1 expect to go to NY next week for a few days . . and after look- 
ing up the Begouens friend tliere, I will write to Simone about it . . 

I have been making some useful contacts here this winter - last week a landscape 
gardener, does all the big rich gardens here -came to see my work - which she liked VERY 
much!! so I am sure I'll hear from her again - and there were other women in the studio to 
see this or that - and Pierre they ALL without exception were completly taken by your 
head!!! I do think I did a pretty good piece of work (++) but the subject was rather inspir- 
ing too!! Do you remember the first head when you accused me of being Penelope? That 
was when I first heard you talk - 1 couldn't always follow exactly - but I always knew it 
was something I very much wanted . . and how I do bless you and thank you dearest for all 
that you have given tome . . it is an endless discovery with always something MORE to 

Now I must go., am going for a long walk up the Canal with Erika!! that also is 
like Peking days! 

Pierre please do think well of my idea for a boat ride toSA.. why should I not see 
that country?? and please let me know when you have anywhere near a settled date as that 
might make such a difference . . if you plan to go with the Camps, it would be quite easy 
for me to get information from them . . . Your last letter sounded very unsettled . . but soon 
you will have to be making reservations etc.qU good luck to your plans Pierre ..I do so 
want them to work out for you . . as you would like them to be, 

All my love dearest, always your, 

Paris, March 3/47 


Excuse me for not answering faster your exciting letter ofFebr. 15. Your 
idea of South Africa is wonderful The whole question is to combine and to mate- 
rialize. Precisely I write yesterday to Weidenreich in order to urge a solution. 
Finally, the Rockefeller Found, has decided (with the nicest possible apprecia- 
tions) not to back financially a research-trip in Africa with the team I proposed. 
But I still have money enough for myself alone; and I plan to go (unless some- 
thing unforseen happens. In which case I should be very anxious to join the 
Camps group. A month ago, I wrote him to that effect: but he did uq£ answer me 
so far. I do not know what is the matter; but I am sure he is doing the best for me. 
In any case, as soon I get an answer of Weidenreich, I will proceed towards execu- 
tion. I should leave approximately in July. But I have only a faint idea of the 
practibility of travelling by boat (which I would prefer). Airplanes, of course, 

seem easily available. Let me know what you think. Breuil is already in Johan- THEIR 

nesburg, —for a full year. 1941-48 

I was so glad to hear, Lucile, that you can work and that you have so 

many devoted and efficient friends around you. I should be so happy if I could do 299 

more for you. At least, you know, I give you always the best of me. It would be 

such a dream to meet you again. 

In the meantimes, life in Paris is going on, pretty busy. I have started re- 
adjusting the famous book for a new examination. Work is proceeding suffi- 
ciently well, — not so easy though. Since six years, although my ideas did not 
change substantially, I think my "vision" is better organized, and somewhat dif- 
ferently focussed, this latter factor making the "retouches" difficult In some way, 
writing a new book would be more pleasant. Anyhow, I go on; and I hope that, by 
Easter, the whole thing will be ready for censorship, — good or not so good. I 
would much prefer to concentrate on the new points of view which some time 
seem positively to pour in my mind in the course and under the pressure of private 
talks and lectures. Too many of such talks and lectures, in fact. I must try to 
reduce the number, henceforth, by all means. Would you think that, led by fortu- 
itous circumstances, I begin to be more and more interested by Art: technically, 
because I met recently a few quite modernistisc artists; and "biologically" (if I 
dare say) because I have a sort of feeling that, in a next stage of Mankind, Art 
will become an essential function of collective "hominisation", just as scientific 
Research did in the course of a few generations. There is a marvelous and unique 
exhibition of Van Gogh aux Tuileries, just now. If only we could visit it together, 
you and me! 

Concerning Simone, I must give you very alarming news. A fortnight ago, 
she seemed so much better that she had booked for Morocco. And then suddenly 
the heart has begun to give up. Between the too numerous "crisis", she looks just 
the same, just so smiling and sweet. But everybody is anxious. And yet everybody 
is so used to see her emerging out of any sort of illness that hope remains. But, at 
the best, she will have to rest for months. Max was in the depths of Western 
Africa. He has arrived yesterday, in a single day (!), by plane. Ida stood by 
Simone all the time. She was wonderful. 

Goodbye, dearest. The letter is a little short, but I have to go fast. People 
are already at my door. 

yours and your P.T. +++ 

Many thanks for the books of Reeves, A. Huxley and the article by L. Corbellier! 
Such things are "introuvables" here! I am more and more in friendship and intel- 
lectual understanding with Julian Huxley. My separates (for the last article on 
Humanity) have not yet arrived! 

15 Rue Monsieur, Paris VII 
March 24, '47 


Simone told me that you would like to receive sometimes letters written 
infrench. So will I do this time (tell me what you prefer!). 


TEILHARD - Done j'ai bien recu votre chere 
,fL^5w£ '***** * u Q Sl Puttie de projets. De 
mon cote, void ou j'en suis. Le Viking 
™ Fund m'a effectivement ecrit pour me 
dire que mon argent m'attendait, et 
pour m'indiquer comment I'utiliser. 
Dans ces conditions, je suis pratique- 
ment decide a partir en Juillet D' autre 
part, Cook me dit qu'il ne faut pas 
songer H trouverplace sur un bateau 
(tout, dit-il, serait retenu pour un an!), 
ce qui m'obligera a prendre V avion, - a 
moins queje ne decouvre quelque cargo 
(moyen de transport dont Cook fait 
profession de ne pas s'occuper). Dans le 
cos de V avion, la ligne la plus com- 
mode semble etre Paris-Madagascar 
(Air-France), avec changement au 
Kenya. Voila tout ce queje puis dire en 
ce moment Weidenreich m'a ecrit pour 
m'encourager a partir, meme seul Par 
ailleurs Camp m' envoy e un tres gentil 
mot de "welcome". J'ai ete tres etonne 
de ce que vous (et Weidenreich) me 
faites savoir concerning his feelings a 
mon egard. En 1939, a Berkeley, j'avais 
bien cm sentir quelque chose; mais je 
I'avais attribue au fait que j'etais 
Vhote de Chaney, avec qui il ne s'enten- 
dait pas bien a ce moment. En tous cas 
je n'ai aucune idee de n 1 avoir pas fait 
en Chine tout ce que je pouvais pour lui 
(e'est moi qui I'avais fait venir par le 
Survey). Serait-ce que je ne I'ai 
accompagne on the field, le confiant a 
Young (a cause de mon ignorance bien 
connue du chinois)? ...II doit y avoir 
un malentendu, - car je n'ai jamais 
cesse de le considerer comme un vrai 
ami. J'imagine que tout cela se dissip- 
era h la premiere rencontre. - Le non 
moins cher G. B. Barbour (toujours 
dean of Sciences a Cincinnati) vient de 
m'ecrire une lettre charmante. II ne 
serait pas impossible qu'il vienne. Ce 
serait un reve. 

En attendant, ma vie id continue 
suivant les mimes lignes. J'ai I'impres- 
sion que ma position s'affermit et s'af- 

Well, I received your dear letter of 
the 12th, so full of plans. As for me, 
here is what I am doing. The "Viking 
Fund" has indeed written to tell me 
that the money is ready and how to use 
it. Under these conditions, I have prac- 
tically decided to leave in July. On the 
other hand, Cook tells me that I 
mustn't hope to find a berth on a ship 
(they tell me that there is nothing avail- 
able for the next twelve months!); so, I 
will have to fly - unless I can find a 
cargo ship (a means of transport with 
which Cook has no professional link). 
If I fly, the best way would be Paris- 
Madagascar (Air-France), changing in 
Kenya. That's all I can say for the 
moment. Weidenreich wrote me and 
encouraged me to leave, even alone. 
Moreover, Camp sent me a very nice 
"welcome" note. I was extremely sur- 
prised by what you (and Weidenreich) 
told me concerning his feelings toward 
me. In 1939 at Berkeley, I thought I felt 
something, but I believed it was 
because I was Chaney's host with 
whom he was not getting along at the 
time. In any case I felt sure I did all I 
could for him in China (I had the Sur- 
vey make him come). Might it be 
because I didn't go with him on the 
field, entrusting him to Young (because 
of my well known ignorance of the 
Chinese language)? ... It must be a 
misunderstanding, — for I have never 
stopped considering him a true friend. 
I believe all this will disappear when 
we next meet. — The no less dear G.B. 
Barbour (still dean of Sciences in Cin- 
cinnati) has just written me a charming 
letter. It is not impossible that he will 
come. That would be a dream. 

In the meantime my life continues 
on the same lines. It seems that my 
position is getting stronger and asserts 

firm. De plus en plus de followers, 
mats naturellement aussi certaines 
oppositions se manifestent, - ce qui ne 
me diplatt pas. he point vif du 
probleme est la question de "la foi en 
I'Homme", sur lequel je me trouve en 
conflit h la fois avec les pessimistes 
incroyants ("existentialistes") et les 
pessimistes religieux (chretiens vieux- 
style et partisans des idees hindoues). 
En fait, la position se clarifie, dans 
man esprit et dans les discussions. 
Avec toujours plus d* evidence il me 
semble voir que I'Humanite est irre- 
sistiblement envahie par la necessite et 
le besoin de croire qu'elle West pas 
achevee, mats que quelque grand avenir 
{'attend sur Terre en avant Si bien 
qu'aucune religion ne la satisfera plus 
si cette religion n'incorpore pas et ne 
sauve pas cette esperance de progres. Et 
je trouve une grande force dans cette 
conviction. - Ces derniers temps, j"ai 
encore donni bien des conferences sur 
ce sujet (et fen ai refuse bien plus 
encore). Par ailleursj'aifini de corriger 
mon livre de Peking (Le Phenomene 
Humain). Des qu'il sera re-dacty- 
lographii,je Venverrai a Rome, accom- 
pagni d'avis francais favorables. Et 
alors on vena. Concerning the result I 
feel curiously philosophical In fact, 
everything I say in the book is already 

Simone est dicidement mieux. Mais 
elle restefaible. On ne voitpas encore 
bien comment elle va maintenant 
arranger sa vie et celle de Max. Le 
Maroc est hors de question pour le 
moment. Max va y retourner (au 

itself. I have more and more followers 
but, of course, there is also some oppo- 
sition — this doesn't really displease 
me. The central point of the problem is 
the question of "faith in Man", about 
which I find myself in conflict as well 
as with the non-believing pessimists 
(the existentialists) as with the religious 
pessimists (the old style Christians and 
the supporters of Hindu ideas.) In fact, 
my position is getting clearer in my 
mind and in discussions. It seems to me 
more and more evident that Humanity 
is irresistibly overcome by the necessity 
and the need to believe that it is not yet 
perfected, but that some great future 
awaits it on Earth. Which means that 
no religion will satisfy Humanity if this 
religion does not incorporate and save 
this hope for progress. And I find great 
strength in this conviction. — Lately, I 
have given many lectures on this sub- 
ject (and I have refused even more). I 
have also finished correcting the book I 
wrote in Peking (The Phenomenon of 
Man). As soon as it is retyped, I will 
send it to Rome, together with some 
favorable french opinions. And then 
we will see. 





Simone is decidedly better. But she 
is still weak. It is not easy to imagine 
how she will organize her life and 
Max's. Morocco is out of the question 
for the time being. Max will go back (to 
Morocco) early in April. 

Maroc) au debut d'Avril. 

Good bye, dearest I have the feeling that we are so close to each other, 
these days. 

yours ever 


I am sending you, by ordinary mail, the last "egg". So many thanks for the shav- 
ing paste! 





April 20/47 


Excuse me for being so late, this time. Lot of small things occured at Eas- 
ter time, and just now I am in the midst of a biologico-palaeontological sympo- 
sium which keeps me busy morning and evening. Simpson is here, from the 
American Museum, - so that I have a little the impression to be back in New York. 
Here I answer both your letters of March 30 and Easter. They were so sweet, both 
of them! Hope that you have a good time in Chicago. 

Concerning our plans, a first thing is that your fascinating idea of Paris 
can not work under the present conditions. 

Hier encore fat parle avec Simone, Yesterday I spoke again with Simone 
Ms touchee de votre suggestion. Le who is very moved by your suggestion. 

malheur est qu'elle s'est decidee a pren- 
dre utie chambre dans Vappartement 
d'un de ses cousins, qui est en meme 
temps son docteur; et c'est tout juste si 
elle pourra tenir la-dedans avec Max. 
Impossible de vous loger. Et cependant 
la combinaison eut ete parfaite. Si un 
autre plan se developpait, je vous le 
ferais savoir immediatement. En ce qui 
me concerne, il est de plus en plus prob- 
able que je vais reellement partir en 
juillet pour le Transvaal, ou Von m' at- 
tend* Mais je n'ai pas encore reserve 
mon passage; et il se peut que je ren- 
contre la de serieuses difficultes, - 
meme par avion. Je vais des cette 
semaine commencer a m'occuper de 
cela plus activement 

Autrement, la situation reste a peu 
pres la mime. Avant dix jours fespere 
que le manuscrit de mon livre sera a 
Lyon (il West pas encore completement 
re-dactylographie). Ces jours-ci aussi 
je m' attends a une reponse de Rome 
concernant la possibility de publier "le 
Milieu divin", pour lequel il continue a 
y avoir une intense demande. Je n'ai 
Hen ecrit depuis quelques semaines. 
Mais fax accumule bien des notes et 
des idees. Ce qui me parait le plus 
important, en ce moment, c'est defaire 
comprendre ^importance prise dans le 
monde par "la fox en VHomme", et 
Vimpossibilite d'arriver a un equilibre 
tant que les Chretiens ne feront pas a 
cette foi nouvelle une place dans leur 

The problem is that she has decided to 
rent one room in one of her cousins' 
apartment who is also her doctor; and 
she and Max will barely fit in it. They 
cannot possibly take you in. And yet 
this solution would have been perfect. 
If another possibility should develop, I 
would let you know immediately. As 
far as I am concerned, it is more and 
more probable that I will leave in July 
for Transvaal where I am expected. But 
I haven't made any reservations yet, 
and possibly there will be some serious 
difficulties — even by plane. I will 
begin to do something about it more 
actively this week. 

Otherwise, the situation remains 
about the same. I hope the manuscript 
of my book will be in Lyon within the 
next ten days (it is not yet completely 
re-typed). In the very near future also, I 
expect a reply from Rome concerning 
the possibility of publishing The Divine 
Milieu, which continues to be very 
much in demand. I haven't written 
anything these past few weeks, but I 
have accumulated many notes and 
ideas. What seems most important to 
me at the moment is to make people 
understand how important "faith in 
Man" has become throughout the 
world, and the impossibility of reach- 
ing a balance as long as Christians will 
not make room for this new faith in 

religion: "The problem of the two 
faiths", cotntne je dis. Sans fox en 
VHomme, la fox en Dieu est tiede et 
sterile; et, sans foi en Dieu, la foi en 
I'Homtne est inconsistance et deper- 
sonnalisante. En fait, le probleme est 
"psychologique", encore plus que 
philosophique ou theologique. Com- 
bien rates sont les chritiens que leurfoi 
ne rend pas rnous, tildes, incomprehen- 
sifs en face des evenements de la Terre . 
. . Je pense avoir Voccasion de downer 
une ou deux "lectures" la-dessus, ce 

Si vous voyez Eleonore, dites-lui 
magrande affection. Repetez-lui qu'il y 
a un an, a mon arrivee id, une de nxes 
premieres visites avait ete pour Faure; 
etc' est parte que lui, Faure, m' avait dit 
etre en train d'ecrire longuement a elle, 
Eleonore, que je me suis abstenu d'en- 
voyer des nouvelles a Peking (ce que 
j'aurais d&faire,je le vois maintenant). 
Aprls quoije n'ai plus su ou atteindre 
Eleonore. A ce moment la Videe de 
Faure etait que Hen ne pouvait etre 
decide avant que lui et El. se revoient; 
et qu'il y aurait sans doute moyen de 
faire prendre a El. la nationality suisse 
(a laquelle elle aurait droit, - mime cas 
que Hoppeli). Such a mess! Leroy va 
tres bien et travaille toujours les hor- 
mones. - Madame Raphael est dedde- 
ment entree a I'UNESCO, en qualite de 
"Welfare officer"! Je crois qu'elle reus- 
sit tres bien. - Jacques Bardac est aussi 
id, avec Marie-Claire, toujours tres 
brillante. On se voit moins souvent 
qu'a Peking! - 

A bientot, dearest. And God bless 



their religion: "The problem of the two THEIR 
faiths/' as I call it. Without faith in **«-« 
Man, faith in God is lukewarm and lETrERS 
sterile; and, without faith in God, faith 
in Man is inconsistent and depersonal- 
izing. In fact, the problem is "psycho- 
logical" even more than philosophical 
or theological. How rare are the Chris- 
tians whose faith doesn't make them 
faint-hearted, tepid and uncompre- 
hending in the face of what is happen- 
ing in the world. I think I will have the 
opportunity to give one or two "lec- 
tures" on this subject in the spring. 

If you see Eleonore/ give her my 
love. Tell her again that, a year ago on 
my arrival here, one of my first visits 
had been for Faure; and it is because 
he, Faure, had told me he was writing a 
long letter to her, Eleonore, that I held 
off sending the news to her in Peking 
(which I should have done, I can see 
now). Later on I didn't know where to 
reach Eleonore. At that time, Faure's 
idea was that nothing could be decided 
before he and Eleonore met again, and 
that it undoubtedly would be possible 
for Eleonore to obtain the Swiss citizen- 
ship (to which she is entitled — same 
case as Hoppeli). Such a mess! Leroy is 
very well and works always on hor- 
mones research. Mme Raphael did get 
into UNESCO as a "Welfare officer". I 
believe she is doing very well. Jacques 
Bardac is here also with Marie-Claire, 
as brilliant as ever. We see each other 
less than in Peking. 

you! . . . +++ 

Lucile abandoned her plans to join Teilhard and George Barbour on the trip to South Africa 
because she could not book passage that was timely and affordable. 

Meanwhile, Teilhard prepared to depart for the Transvaal, but on June 1 he suf- 
fered a severe myocardial infarction and was rushed to the hospital where for two weeks 
he lingered between life and death. Later the sixty-six year old scientist referred to it as "a 
heart attack which could have sent me to Jesus". He spent several months in convales- 
cence. Lucile did not know of this serious illness when she wrote in May and June. 

TEHHARD 1217 34th Street NW Washington 

&LUCILE May 14,1947 


Dearest, - 
204 Your precious letter of April reached me out in Iowa where I went to see my 

Aunt, the one that Mother stayed with . . she is 88 years old and SUCH a dear . . so alive 
and so sweet, I hope I can be like her when 1 get old!! But I had a birthday just a few 
days ago and I AM getting old!!! 1 was on the train on your birthday the 1st of May and 
sent you many loving messages . . and had a definite idea for a new piece of sculpture . . 
which I have started a sketch for. 

I do so enjoy your letters in French . . it somehow makes you seem closer and I 
think you go into more detail when you write in French . . / know more how you are think- 
ing ..I do wish I knew more how you think the "Noosphere" is going to operate? but your 
faith in Man is the thing that gives hope. All of which is not saying much . .but 1 do so 
thank you for sharing your thoughts with me . . and Pierre 1 am SO SO happy that your 
position there is so solid and getting stronger all the time. 1 know that you have an 
immense number of followers now, more and more all the time. Have you heard yet the fate 
of the famous book? Those things always take longer than you expect. 

I am so glad that Simone has such a happy solution for living in Paris . . that 
seems to me by far the best possible . .lam disappointed not to be able to come there, but 
SOME day it will work out.. I do hope she is improving all the time . . will Max be able to 
be with her very much? 

And 1 suppose the plans for South Africa are beginning to take definite form . . 
am enclosing a clipping from a recent Washington paper . . also one from the New Yorker 
about de Terra . . he seems to have gotten a great deal of publicity about his Mexican finds 
. .1 do wonder what Weidenreich thought about them . .My I do wish they would be 
important enough for you to come and see them!! but surely you will be coming to the US 
before too long?? 

A few days later! 

I have been slow about this because my own plans are so uncertain at the 
moment and it now looks very much as if I may be going to Mexico very soon. While 1 
was in Chicago there was much talk about it, but I did not take it too seriously. However 
it now looks as if the plans will materialize . . the man who was my Father's partner in 
the business is going down, with his wife and a Mexican business man. They have built 
(and the Mexican wants Mr. Holms to go down, eventually perhaps to live there and run) 
a factory down there to manufacture the same moving picture projector that they were 
doing here. 

1217 34th Street N.W. 
Washington DC June 8, '47 

Dearest, - 

How are your plans working out?? Mine do not seem to be doing so well . . the 
trip to Mexico has been postponed until falli?); Im not much disappointed, it was one of 
those things that would be nice, I'd like to see Mexico and it probably will happen some- 
time. This does not seem to be the moment for easy travel!! So I have been wondering how 
your own South African plans are going . . I hope O.K. and feel sure that they are . . after 

off a single man and some special work . . have you any idea yet how long you will be THEIR 

down then? 1941 - 48 

The day I got word that the Mexico trip was off (for the time being) I started a 

portrait head of a young woman, the first COMMISSION I have had for some time ..sol 205 
am very busy with that and that is good . . it seems to be going well, but you know how it 
is at the start of a piece . . THIS time it is going to be the masterpiece!!!! I have been work- 
ing again lately on my "Spirit of the Earth " . . as there is something good there but I have 
not yet gotten what I want., but I guess I already told you this.. 

Life is rather quiet these days, just before the summer exodus . . I shall go up to 
Mary Parton'sfor awhile and then to Nantucket and then I don't know what . . there are 
several possibilities.. 

June 11, 1947 

I started this several days ago; but it seems difficult to go on - for a few short 
weeks when I thought maybe I was going to see you and I talked to your friends at the 
Museum, you seemed so close and it was all wonderful. Oh Pierre, I've written several 
pages and they all seem too stupid to send. I'm afraid I will bore you., so I'm just going to 
send this on, hoping you will get a bit of a note to me before we all separate again with 
miles and miles and miles — 

I'm working every day on the portrait I told you about . . and I think it goes well 
. . I hope to finish it so that I can leave Washington about the 26 or 27th of June. That is in 
about two weeks . . It would be very nice if you would write and tell me something about 
what you plan to do.. I mean how long you expect to be in South Africa etc etc . . Oh, dar- 
ling, I'm really so glad that you are going .Ado think it will be so good for you and you 
always get such a lot of new ideas and inspiration after you have been out for awhile. 

It is so splendid that you keep on with your splendid words of Faith and creative force - 
what a joy it would be if I could again feel some small part in that work! Perhaps - some 
day -who knows- 

But enough for today . . this is just to tell you that I will be in this country — 
probably — for some time . . and if you cannot write for me to get it before I leave, but 
PLEASE do — then c/o Mrs Lemuel Parton, Palisades New York . . will always reach me 
— or things wUl be forwarded from here . . but I'd get it sooner if sent to Palisades . . 

Enclosed is another clipping about Africa!! seems to be much interest in all that . 
. Did you receive my last letter which was full of clippings?? 

15 Rue Monsieur, Paris VII 
July 5th 47 


I am just, or almost just, out of bed. So, do excuse my bad handwriting! - 
I must thank you so much for your two precious letters, the last being of June 26. 
Yes, it is rather unusual to me to be sick. But here I am. On the whole, it seems 
that something went wrong with my circulation, somewhere in the pectus, so 
that the doctors oblige me, for a few months, to a rather remissed type of life. A 
classical case, they say, — but for which they have a classical routine-cure too. 





I must avoid all physical efforts, etc 
until December 1st. I don't know yet 
where I will spend all that time, but it 
will probably be in the vicinity of Paris, 
and you can always write to me 15 rue 

Jusqu'au 1 Decembre, il faut que 
j'evite tout effort physique, etc. ]e ne 
sais pas encore exactement ou je passe- 
rat tout ce temps-la; mats ce sera sfire- 
ment aux environs de Paris; et vous 
pouvez toujours m'ecrire au IS Rue 

— Just now, 1 am in a good clinic, with a nice garden, quite close "les 

To be frank, je n'ai pas encore retrouvi exactement mon equilibre 

Malgre* la guerison, je doute de pou- 
voir reprendre mon existence on the 
field; et en tous cas Y affaire d'Afrique 
du sud est manquee. Je crois sentir que 
la solution constructive, pour moi, est, 
sera de me tourner davantage du cote 
de la pensee et de Y action sur les idees. 
Mais il faut pour cela tout un ajuste- 
tnent aux evenements que je ne puis 

encore prevoir. 

En tous cas, more than ever, 1 need you in order to be myself, and to find 

men mffy God. 

Je vous ecrirai plus longuement, bientot. 

In spite of my recovery, I doubt that I 
will ever be able to work on the field; in 
any case I missed the opportunity to go 
to South Africa. I feel that th e construc- 
tive solution, for me, is, will be to turn 
more toward thinking and working on 
ideas. But I cannot forsee how I will 
adjust to the recent events. 


Clinique des Soeurs 
St Germain-en-Laye, 28 Juillet '47 


I am answering here your precious letter of July 13. As you see, I have left 
my former hospital; and I am now simply resting in a confortable clinique, 
exactly along the border of the Foret de St. Germain. 

Les Soeurs sont aux petits soins 
avec moi; et j'ai retrouve avec etonne- 
ment et plaisir, faisant provisoirement 
fonction de chapelain dans la maison 
le P. Merveille lui-meme, qui a passe un 
an avec nous en 1941 Rue Labrousse! 
Ce n'estpas tout a fait un "ami"; mais 
c'est un familier et un camarade avec 
qui parler sur des choses d' inter et com- 
mun. 11 a subi une grave operation au 
foie et a Vestomac; et bien qu'ex- 
terieurement il Wait pas change du 
tout, je me demande s'il pourra 
retourner en Chine. — lei, je ne m'en- 

The sisters are taking great care of 
me; I was very surprised and happy to 
see again Father Merveille himself who 
spent one year with us in 1941 rue 
Labrousse and who is temporarily the 
Chaplain here. He is not quite a 
"friend", but he is a familiar face and a 
companion with whom I can discuss 
things of common interest. He under- 
went a very serious liver and stomac 
operation and, although he has not 
changed at all outwardly, I wonder if 
he will be able to go back to China. I am 
not bored here. I read and I think 

nuie pas. Je lis etje pense suffisamment 
(on dirait que je n'ai jamais eu d'au- 
tant d'idies et plus claires que depuis 
mon accident de santi.); et puis, malgre 
la distance, des amis viennent me voir 
presque chaque jour de Paris. George 
he Fevre (celui qui a ecrit La Croisiere 
Jaune) habite St Germain mime; etje le 
vois souvent. Evidemment, il reste la 
deception des plans rompus et Vincerti- 
tude de ce que je vaisfaire exactement 
plus tard. J'ai quelque crainte que le 
vrai travail on the field ne soit plus 
tres possible pour moi ( ce n'est pas stir 
cependant: il semble que je me remette 
tres bien); mais alors il est possible 
qu'un autre champ (celui de I'Homme 
Moderne) s'ouvre plus grand en com- 
pensation: tout depend de la reaction 
des elements. En attendant, je suis au 
demi-repos jusqu'au 1 Decembre; et je 
ne sais pas encore ou je passerai ce 
temps. Les longs parcours ne me sont 
pas conseilles, et les escaliers positive- 
ment diconseilles pour 4 mois encore. 
J'imagine que je trouverai quelque 
endroit aux environs de Paris. Mais, 
jusqu'a Octobre ou Novembre, je ne 
pense pas pouvoir rentrer a Paris 
mime, — ce qui ne faciliterait pas les 
rencontres si par chance vous veniez en 
Europe en automne! . . En somme, je vis 
encore beaucoup au jour le jour. Et 
puis, pour tout achever, un grand maU 
heur vient d'arriver a mon frere de 
Paris (le seal qui me reste, et par con- 
siquent celui sur qui s'est concen- 
tric presque tout mon affection 
familiale: son fits (le seul, avec une 
fille), un brillant garqon de 26 ans, 
vient de se noyer, dans un etang herbu 
(caught in the weeds) au debut des 
vacances. Pour mon frere, c'est une 
blessure inguerissable, mais qui, je 
Vespere, ne Vabattra pas. Mais le voila 
ford de chercher Ms haut une raison 
de vivre, - un interet a la vie. En somme 
nous vivons dans un Univers encore 
largement immergi dans les chances et 
le hasard, ou tout pent arriver, mime le 

enough (it is as if I never had so many THEIR 
and clearer ideas than since my illness . W1-4& 
. .); and also, in spite of the distance, LE7TERS 
friends come to see me almost every ««_ 
day from Paris. Georges Le Fevre (the 
one who wrote "La Croisiere Jaune") 
lives in St. Germain itself and I see him 
often. Of course, it remains the disap- 
pointment of broken plans and the 
uncertainty about what I will do in the 
future. I rather fear that the real work 
on the field will no longer be possible 
for me (it is not certain however, it 
seems that I am recovering very well); 
but it is possible that another field of 
action (that of Modern Man) opens up 
a greater compensation: everything 
depends on the reaction of the ele- 
ments. In the meantime, I am half 
working/half resting until December 
1st, and I still don't know where I will 
spend that time. Long walks are not 
recommended for me and I have been 
strictly forbidden to climb stairs for 
another four months. I think I will find 
some place in the vicinity of Paris. But 
until October or November, I don't 
think I can go back to Paris - which 
would not make our getting together 
easy if you happened to come to 
Europe in the fall! ... All in all, I still 
very much live from day to day - and 
then, as the last straw, a great misfor- 
tune has just fallen on my brother who 
lives in Paris, the only one I have got 
left and, consequently, the one on 
whom all my family love has concen- 
trated: his son (his only son, he also has 
a daughter), a brilliant young man of 
26, drowned recently in a grassy pond 
(caught in the weeds) at the beginning 
of the vacation. For my brother it is an 
incurable wound but which, I hope, 
will not defeat him. Now he has to look 
higher up for a reason to live, for an 
interest in life. On the whole we live in 
an universe still very much immersed 
in accidents and fate, where everything 
can happen, even the most absurd: but, 
in this game of chance, we can, it is our 





plus absurde: mats a cejeu des chances 
nous pouvons, il nous appartient de 
donner un sens par notrefoi en quelque 
avenir divin ou prend figure, sens et 
chaleur. En dehors de cette perspective, 
je ne pense pas que V existence soit 
biologiquement possible ( et c'est la 
seule chose vraie dans l' u existential- 
ism" ...).- Simone est venue me voir 
avant que je ne vienne id; toujours 
aussi angelique. Elle espere alter au 
Maroc en automne(?), et en Bretagne, 
en aoftt. 

Tenez-moi au courant de ce que vous 
faites; et merci tant pour tout ce que 
votre affection me donne de douceur et 

task, give a meaning with the help of 
our faith in some divine future where 
meaning and warmth take shape. Out- 
side this perspective, I don't believe 
our existence is biologically possible 
(and this is the only true thing in "exis- 
tentialism" . . .). Simone came yester- 
day to see me before I came here; 
angelic as usual. She hopes to go to 
Morocco in the fall(?), and to Brittany 
in August. 

Let me know what you are doing, 
and thank you so much for all the gen- 
tleness and strength your affection 
gives me. 



4 Place Louis XIV 
St Germain-en-Laye, August 20th 47 


Yesterday I have received your chkre lettre du 10 ao&t I enjoyed the news 
you gave me of so many dear friends: the John Carter Vincents, the Grews, and 
Nathaly (so strange, and yet, a la reflexion, so natural that she should have 
evolved into another Simone!). 

Je suis si heureux que vous ayez eu 
ces belles vacances. De mon cote, Hen 
de nouveau, comme c'etait prevu. Je 
continue a alter normalement bien. Et, 
n'etait Yobscur regret, encore recur- 
rent, du voyage manque en Afrique du 
Sud, je n'aurais vraiment pas a me 
plaindre de mon &te. St. Germain, avec 
ses bois, est vraiment un bel endroit; et 
je suis reellement g&te par les amis de 
toutes sortes qui, malgre la periode des 
vacances, trouvent moyen de venir me 
voir id. Demain, je vais alter passer 
Yapres-midi a Versailles, ou sont 
presentment reunis nombre de mes 
collegues appurtenant a presque tous 
les pays du monde. Excellente occasion 
de prendre la temperature des esprits, 
et aussi de faire passer quelques idees. 
Je dois purler. En fait je recommence a 
voir presque autant de gens que lorsque 

I am so happy that you had this 
wonderful vacation. As for me, there is 
nothing new as could be expected. I 
continue to be normally well and, were 
it not for the obscure regret, still recur- 
ring, of the aborted trip to South Africa, 
I would really not have anything to 
complain about concerning my sum- 
mer. St. Germain, with its woods, is 
really a beautiful place, and I have been 
truly spoiled by all kinds of friends 
who, although these are the holiday 
months, manage to come and see me 
here. Tomorrow I will spend the after- 
noon at Versailles, where presently 
many of my colleagues coming from 
practically every country of the world 
are gathered. This will be an excellent 
opportunity to take the temperature of 
their minds and also to pass along 
some ideas. I have to speak up. In fact I 

j'etais bParis. Mais n'ayez pas peun je 
fats attention a ne pas mefatiguer. En 
avant, mes projets demeurent juste 
aussi vagues. J'esplre rentier aux 
Etudes en Novembre (quitte a y metier 
une vie plutbt recluse jusqu'a Decent' 
bre, ipoque ou les midecins me prom- 
ettent la liberie. Mais d'ici-la je n'ai 
aucune idie de ce que je vais faire. 
Peut-etre resterai-je tout betement id? 
...Je continue a lire beaucoup, — mais 
peu de livres vraiment interessants: 
surtout les meilleurs romans parus ces 
derniers temps; et aussi ce que je puis 
me procurer de litterature existantial- 
iste (La Nausee, de Sartre; La Peste, de 
Camus, etc. les titres sontgais, n'est-ce 
pas?). Dans V ensemble, ce mouvement 
existentialiste me "herisse", et me sem- 
ble de plus en plus un mouvement de 
snobs, sans racines dans les forces qui 
mbnent aujourd'hui le monde. Nean- 
moins, il est mene par des gens fort 
intelligents et il fournit, par opposi- 
tion, un excellent background aux idees 
qui sont les miennes. Je me devais de 
faire plus ample connaissance avec lui; 
et je dois dire que ce surcroit de con- 
naissance m'a grandement rassure sur 
ses points faibles et finalement, je 
crois, sa sterilite et son impuissance. 

Pas de nouvelles de Simone, ce sem- 
ble prouver que tout va bien a Brehat 
(Vile de Bretagne, ou elle est avec Ida 
Treat). Barbour m'ecrit de Johannes- 
burg (nous devions faire le voyage 
ensemble!), en me transmettant une 
bonne lettre d'Eddie Bien, qui a quitte 
la Chine depuis un an et travaille dans 
quelque universite en California Bien 
n'a pas Voir le moins du monde surpris 
par le dSsordre actuel de la Chine; mais 
il ne me donne pas ses pronostics d'av- 
enir. II faut avouer que la Terre 
humaine West pas dans un etat bien 
rassurant en ce moment, ni confortable 
(du moins en Europe). Mais il me 
parait tellement evident, de plus en 
plus, que, pour des raisons qui domi- 
nent ou entrainent la volonte humaine, 


am beginning to see again almost as THEIR 
many people as when I was in Paris. 1941-tf 
But don't worry; I am careful not to get 
over tired. My plans remain just as ~ nQ 
vague for the near future. I hope to 
return to Les Etudes in November, 
even if I have to lead the life of a 
recluse until December, the month 
when the doctors promise to release 
me. But, until then, I have no idea what 
I am going to do. Perhaps I'll very sim- 
ply stay here? I still read a great deal, 
but not many really interesting books, 
mostly the best novels recently pub- 
lished; and also what I can get on exis- 
tentialist literature (Sartre's La Nausee, 
Camus' La Peste, etc . . ., the titles are 
cheerful, aren't they?) As a whole, this 
existentialist movement makes me bris- 
tle and more and more seems to me to 
be a snobbish movement without any 
roots in the forces which today lead the 
world. Nevertheless, it is led by very 
intelligent people and it gives, in con- 
trast, an excellent background to my 
own ideas. I had to find out more about 
it and I must say that this additional 
knowledge has reassured me about its 
weak points and finally, I believe, 
about its sterility and its impotence. 

I haven't heard from Simone which 
seems to prove that all is well in Br£hat 
(the island off the coast of Brittany 
where she is with Ida Treat). Barbour 
wrote to me from Johannesburg (we 
were supposed to go there together!), 
and he passed on to me a good letter 
from Eddie Bien who left China a year 
ago and is working in some university 
in California. Bien does not seem in the 
least surprised by the present distur- 
bances in China, but he does not make 
any prognosis as to its future. I must 
confess that this human world, is nei- 
ther in a very reassuring state right 
now, nor very comfortable (at least in 
Europe). But it seems to me more and 
more evident, for reasons which con- 
trol or lead the human will, that this 





le processus ne peut se terminer (de 
necessiti biologique et planetaire) que 
sur une unification d' ensemble! 

Good bye pour cette fois, dearest 
Cette lettre a eti interrompue par Var- 
rivie d'amis qui m'ont emmene dans 
leur auto a trovers la foret, jusqu'au 
bout de la magnifique terrasse de St 
Germain, que vous connaissez sans 
doute. Louis XIV et ceux qui I'entou- 
raient etaient evidemment de grands 

yours ever +++ 



Je viens de recevoir votre longue 
chere lettre du 19, sipleine de nouvelles 
et de chose sur vous. Cela m'ennuie de 
sentir que vous etes moins entouree a 
Washington, apres tant de departs. 
Mais j'espkre qu'il y aura bientot des 
retours pour compenser. Eleonore 
m'avait ecrit avant de quitter la Chine 
(j'espkre qu'elle aura requ ma reponse, a 
San Francisco); etj'ai vu Robert Faure 
lui-meme id, il y a quelque temps. 11 
esperait en effet trouver le moyen 
d'aller passer quelques jours aux Etats- 
Unis pour revoir enfin sa "fiancee". Je 
Vai trouve tres gentil. Presentez 
naturellement toutes mes grandes 
amities a Erica et a Maria Wilhelm. 
Incidemment, Faure m'a dit que Marg- 
aret Tafel avait quitte son man (Toby), 
et que cela ne I'etonnait pas. Moi j'ai 
eti peniblement surpris. De Peking je 
n'ai depuis longtetnps aucune nouvelle 
directe, — saufune bonne lettre de Nir- 
gidma, qui a Vair tout a fait paisible et 
heureuse la-bas. Mais evidemment la 
vie est la-bas completement changee 
socialement parlant. De I'lnstitut de 
GSo-Biologie je crains qu'il ne faille 
dire qu'il est mort, - apres avoir honor- 
ablement joui le rdle pour lequel il 
avait ete cree pendant la guerre. Per- 
sonne n'est la, ni ne sera trouve de 

process can only end (because of bio- 
logical and planetary necessity) in a 
general unification. 

Good by for this time/ dearest. This 
letter was interrupted by the arrival of 
some friends who took me in their car 
through the forest to the very end of 
the magnificent terrace at St. Germain 
which you no doubt know. Louis XIV 
and those who surrounded him were 
evidently grands messieurs. 

St Germain, 24 Sept. 47 

I have just received your dear long 
letter of the 19th, so full of news and 
things about you. It bothers me a little 
to feel that you are less surrounded by 
friends in Washington after so many 
departures. But I hope that there soon 
will be some returns to compensate. 
Eleonore had written to me before leav- 
ing China (I hope she will have 
received my reply in San Francisco); 
and I saw Robert Faure himself here 
some time ago. Indeed, he hoped to go 
and spend a few days in the United 
States to finally see again his "fiancee/ 7 
I found him very nice. Of course, give 
my best love to Erica and Maria Wil- 
helm. Incidentally, Faure told me that 
Margaret Tafel had left her husband 
(Toby) which did not surprise him. I 
was painfully surprised. I have not had 
any direct news from Peking for a long 
time — except for a nice letter from 
Nirgidma who seems quite peaceful 
and happy there. Evidently, life over 
there is completely changed, socially 
speaking. I fear I must say that the 
Institute of Geo-Biology is dead — after 
honorably playing the role for which it 
had been created during the war. 
Nobody is working there, and it will 
take a long time to find someone who 
could replace Leroy and me. No news 

longtemps, pour remplacer Leroy et 
moi. Pas de nouvelles du Survey: c'est 
un pen de ma faute, car je n'ecris pas. 
Mais que pourrais-je ecrire, quand mes 
plans sont tellement incertains? . . 

let, rien de substantiellement nou- 
veau. Je vais de mieux en mieux, et je 
pense rentrer Rue Monsieur au com- 
mencement d'Octobre, quitte a y mener, 
comme veulent les docteurs, une vie 
ralentie jusqu'au 1 Decembre. En 
somme, le sejour id aura ete bienfai- 
sant et assez plaisant, grace a un temps 
magnifique, A de nombreuses visites, a 
de bons livres, et h un certain travail 
depensee que je crois assez bon. Je ne 
me suis pas souvent senti V esprit aussi 
vifet lucide: j'imagine queje recolte le 
fruit des innombrables conversations 
et discussions de Van dernier. Tout de 
mime, je continue a sentir que d' avoir 
manque le trip en Afrique du Sud a pro- 
fondement disorganise mon plan de 
travail scientifique; et je me sens de 
plus en plus porte a deserter (relative- 
ment) VHomme fossile pour le 
Phenomene humain moderne, - ce qui 
est exactement dans la logique de ma 
vie. Le malheur est que je me retrouve 
une fois de plus en difficulty avec 
Rome, au point que (par une certaine 
amitie, apparemment, cad. pour me 
proteger de certains ennuis majeurs 
avec Vautorite ecclesiastique supreme - 
quels ennuis? je Vignore: sans doute la 
mise "h Vlndex") on me donne la con- 
signe de reduire au minimum mes pub 
lications non strictement scientifiques. 
Cela tombe assez mal. Mais j'ai de plus 
en plus d'amis fideles et bien places; et 
surtout il est desormais trop tard pour 
arreter les idees auxquellesje tiens bien 
plus qu'k la vie: la percee est faite. Je 
suis done, aufond de moi-meme, suffi- 
camment philosophe et tranquille; - 
persuade que je suis qu'unefois de plus 
le mal apparent tournera au plus grand 
bien. Je compte sur les evenements pour 
me guider pas a pas; et je continue a 
ecrire beaucoup. Evidemment, dans ces 

from the Survey: it is partially my fault THEIR 

because I don't write. But what could I 1*1-4* 


write when my plans are so uncertain? 

There is nothing substantially new 
here. I feel better and better and I hope 
to go back to rue Monsieur at the begin- 
ning of October, even if I have to lead, 
as the doctors wish, a slower life until 
December 1st. All in all, the stay here 
will have been beneficial and pleasant 
enough, thanks to the magnificent 
weather, numerous visits, good books 
and a certain amount of reflexion which 
was good for me. I haven't often felt so 
lucid and alive: I suppose I am gather- 
ing the fruit of the numerous conversa- 
tions and discussions I have had this 
past year. All the same, I still feel that, 
missing the South African trip has pro- 
foundly disorganized my plans of sci- 
entific research; and I feel more and 
more like deserting (relatively speak- 
ing) fossil Man for the modern human 
Phenomenon - which follows exactly 
the logic of my life. Unfortunately, I am 
once more in difficulty with Rome, to 
the point where (out of a certain sense 
of goodwill apparently, that is to say, to 
protect me from major problems with 
the supreme ecclesiastical authority - 
which problems? I really don't know: 
perhaps getting me "on the Index") I 
have been told to limit to a minimum 
my publications which are not strictly 
scientific. This is what I needed just 
now!. But I have more and more faith- 
ful and"well-placed" friends; and, in 
any case, it is already too late to stop the 
ideas for which I care more than my life: 
the breakthrough has taken place. So, 
deep down, I am sufficiently philo- 
sophical and peaceful - persuaded as I 
am that once again the apparent harm 
will become the greatest good. I count 
on the events to guide me step by step; 
and I continue to write a great deal. Ev- 
idently, under these conditions, there is 
very little chance that the manuscript of 


TEILHARD conditions, il n'y a guere de chances 
& LUCILE p 0ur q Ue \ e manuscrit de mon livre (he 
CORRESPOND ^Unomlne Hutnain) approuvi en 
- France, echappe a la censure romaine. 
En somme, pen importe: I'essentiel est 
que les idees passent, — et elles pas- 

A propos de livres sur I'Homme, 
vous savez certainement par Nathaly 
que Lecomte du Nouy est tres grave- 
ment malade, a New York. De source 
directe, je sais qu'il a completement 
trouve (ou retrouve) Dieu dans son 
esprit et dans son coeur, ce qui lui 
donne une admirable serenite. Je lui ai 
ecrit, il y a peu de jours. 

11 n' est pas etonnantque vous restiez 
reveuse devant I'Existentialisme. Cest 
un mouvement extremement polymor- 
phe qui n'a d'interessant, a mon sens, 
que sa tendance generate a sortir la phi- 
losophie du monde des abstractions 
pour nous replacer en face des prob- 
Ibnes de realitL Ceci reconnu a son 
eloge, il reste que, d'une maniere gener- 
ale aussi, les existentialistes montrent 
une tendance malheureuse a vouloir re- 
soudre le probleme de la Vie en con- 
siderant des individus isoles (dans le 
Temps et I'Espace) ce qui les incline a 
declarer le Monde absurde, avec comme 
consequences: ou bien un stoicisme 
tragique et stupide (Sartre, Camus, 
Heidegger); ou bien un Christianisme 
pessimiste (Kirkegaard, Jaspers, Mar- 
eel); ou bien la "litterature noire" et une 
sorte de "neo-dadaisme" artistique. - A 
mon avis, sous ces formes, le mouve- 
ment n'a pas d'avenir, et il restera une 
philosophic de snobs et de raffines. Je 
crois que nous avons plus besoin de 
Dieu (et d'un Dieu "aimant") que ja- 
mais: mais il me semble que notrefoi en 
lui ne sauraitplus naitre que d'un exces 
de notrefoi en Vavenir et la valeur du 
monde (et non d'un defaut de cettefoi, 
comme diraient volontiers les existen- 
tialistes Chretiens). 

Je continue a voir souvent Pierre 
Leroy, avec qui je m'entends toujours 

my book (The Phenomenon of Man) ap- 
proved in France will escape the Roman 
censure. But this does not matter much: 
the essential thing is that the ideas 
make their way — and they do make 
their way. 

Talking about books on Man, you 
have probably heard from Nathaly that 
Lecomte du Noiiy is very seriously ill 
in New York. I know from a direct 
source that he has completely found (or 
found again) God in his mind and in 
his heart, which gives him an admira- 
ble serenity. I wrote him a few days 

It is not suprising that you are won- 
dering about Existentialism. It is an 
extremely polymorphous movement 
which is only interesting, in my opin- 
ion, by its general tendency to take phi- 
losophy out of the world of abstractions 
and to place us in front of problems of 
reality . This being recognized in its fa- 
vor, it remains that, in a general way 
also, the existentialists show an unfor- 
tunate tendency in wanting to solve 
Life's problems by considering isolated 
individuals (in Time and Space) which 
brings them to declare that the World is 
absurd with, as a consequence: either a 
tragic and stupid stoicism (Sartre, Ca- 
mus, Heidegger), or a pessimistic Chris- 
tianity (Kierkegaard, Jaspers, Marcel), 
or a "black literature" and a kind of ar- 
tistic "neo-dadaism." In my opinion the 
movement has no future in these forms; 
and it will remain a philosophy of snobs 
and the sophisticated. The only philos- 
ophy which can and which must pene- 
trate the human mass is a vigorous spir- 
it, exalting human faith and strongly 
rooted in Matter. I believe we need God 
(a "loving" God) more that even but it 
seems to me that our faith in Him can 
only be born from a surplus of our faith 
in the future and the value of the world 
(and not from a failing of this faith as the 
Christian existentialists would readily 

I often see Pierre Leroy, with whom I 
still get along very well, or even, if this 

aussi bien, ou mime, si detail possible 
de tnieux en mieux. II continue a tra- 
veller lea hormones etaeude grands 
succis dans son enseignement Fran' 
coise Raphael est absolument in- 
changie, et vient regulierement me voir 
id chaque semaine. Elle est toujours 
"wellfare officer" a IVNESCO, - tres 
appreciee, je crois. Vous savez que vos 
anciens voisins, les Dorget, sont egale- 
ment a Paris; eux aussi, je les vois sou- 
vent Je crois qu'ils vont aller tous les 
deux a Mexico cet automne (pour le 
congris de IVNESCO). Je n'ai pas revu 
Julian Huxley depuis queje suis immo- 
bilise. Mais nous restons en contact et 
engrande sympathie. 

Breuil m'a ecrit recemment d'Afrique 
du Sud, ou il s'occupe surtout de pein- 
ture rupestres. Quel dommage de man- 
quer une rencontre la-bas avec Henry 

Vu Simone samedi dernier. Elle a 
rebondi une fois de plus, et compte 
retourner au Maroc fin Octobrell Elle 
etait accompagnee par Ida Treat qui 
part pour VAmerique dans peu de jours 
mats par cargo; ce qui ne la mettra 
guire a New York avant le 15 Octobre. 
Elle restera trois mois la-bas et compte 
vous voir. Comme elle est done heu- 

were possible, better and better. He is 
still working with hormones and has 
been very successful in his teaching. 
Franchise Raphael is absolutely un- 
changed and comes to see me regularly 
every week. She is still a "welfare of- 
ficer" with UNESCO — and is very 
much appreciated, I think. You know 
that your former neighbors, the Dor- 
gets, are also in Paris; I also see them 
often. I think they will both go to Mex- 
ico this fall (for the UNESCO conven- 
tion). I haven't seen Julian Huxley since 
I was immobilized. But we remain in 
touch, and we feel a great sympathy for 
each other. 

Breuil wrote me recently from South 
Africa where he is still working on 
rupestrian paintings [the cave rock 
murals]. What a pity to miss a meeting 
over there with Henry Field! 

I saw Simone last Saturday. She has 
recovered once again and hopes to go 
back to Morocco at the end of October. 
Ida Treat, who is leaving for America in 
a few days by cargo ship, was with her; 
she probably will not reach New York 
before October 15. She will stay there 
three months and hopes to see you. 
How lucky she is! 

reuse! . . 

Good bye, dearest You are such a treasure for me, and I L you so 

God bless you! 


Paris, 16 Octobre, 1947 


I thank you so much for your precious letter of Oct 5, full of interesting 
Et en particulier je suis si heureux 

(pour vous et pour elle) que Eleonore 
soit maintenant avec vous. Dites-lui 
bien toute ma grande affection. J'ai 
revu Faure, il y a environ dix jours. II 
itait done assez desappointe de n' avoir 
pu aller f aire un tour en Amerique, et ne 

I thank you so much for your pre- 
cious letter of Oct. 5, full of interesting 
news. And I am particularly happy (for 
you and for her) that Eleonore is now 
with you. Give her all my great affec- 
tion. I saw Faure again about ten days 
ago. He was rather disappointed not to 






TEILHARD savait comment rejoindre VAbyssinie, 

& WC1LE p ar $u jf e fa \ a suppression d'une ligtte 

CORRESPOND d > avion$ . mais j e pense qu > { \ a d fifi tta . 

lement partir depuis. Son absence va 
durer trots ou quatre mois. - 

Personnellement, je suis done de 
nouveau Rue Monsieur, depuis quinze 
jours; et malgre un certain regret des 
magnifiques arbres de St Germain, je 
me trouve tres bien id. Beaucoup de 
gens et d'amis viennent me voir; et il 
m! arrive assez souvent d'aller dejeuner 
ou prendre le the au dehors, dans le car 
de quelque ami fortune. A ce regime, les 
quelques semaines qui me separent 
encore du 1 Decembre (date de ma 
"liberation") passeront vite. Je con- 
tinue a lire, - tnais moins cependant 
qu'a St Germain, parce que les conver- 
sations, id, sont plus nombreuses. 
Finalement, je crois que mon hiver va 
s' arranger et s'occuper facilement Ce 
ne sont pas les occasions de parler (de 
preference devant de petits groupes 
selectionnes) qui me manqueront. Et 
puis, a defaut d' articles immediate- 
ment publiables, je suis decide a ecrire 
(sous le titre "Comment je vois") un 
resume complet de toute ma perspec- 
tive (physique, theologique, metaphy- 
sique et mystique). Naturellement une 
telle chose ne sera pas publiee: mais 
elle pourra etre diffusee. Et puis je sens 
le besoin de fixer, dans un tableau d'en- 
semble, toute ma pensee. Je continue a 
avoir cette impression que pour moi la 
perception de la vraie perspective et le 
sens des vraies valeurs se sont brusque- 
ment super-revelees sont subitement 
augmente d'intensite) depuis le mois de 
juin. Cest cela que je voudrais 
exprimer; et je crois que ce sera fadle, 
parce que e'est si clair, et si simple . . . 

Je ne sais encore quel sera le sort de 
V article quej'ai ecrit en Septembre (sur 
le "rebondissement" humain de Invo- 
lution). En attendant j'ai ecrit, sur 
demande, quelques lignes (bien senties) 
sur Lecomte du Nouy, dont les vues, 

have been able to go to America/ and 
he didn't know how to go to Abyssinia, 
after the suppression of an Air Line; 
but I think he must have left finally. He 
will be away three or four months. 

As to myself I have been back to rue 
Monsieur for two weeks and, although 
I rather miss the magnificent trees of 
Saint Germain, I feel very comfortable 
here. Many people and friends come to 
see me, and I go out quite often for 
lunch or tea in the car of some wealthy 
friend. At this rate, the few weeks 
which separate me from December 1st 
(the date of my "liberation") will pass 
quickly. I continue to read — less how- 
ever than when I was in Saint Germain 
because conversations here are more 
frequent. Finally, I think my winter will 
take shape and I will easily find occu- 
pation. I will not lack opportunities to 
speak (preferably before small select 
groups). And then, for lack of articles 
which could be published immediately, 
I have decided to write (under the title 
"How I See") a complete summary of 
my whole perspective (physical, theo- 
logical, metaphysical and mystic). Nat- 
urally, such a thing will not be 
published: but it could be circulated. 
And then I feel the need to set down in 
a complete picture the whole of my 
thought. I continue to have the impres- 
sion that, for me, the perception of the 
true perspective and the meaning of 
true values have been suddenly super- 
revealed (have suddenly grown in 
intensity) since the month of June. This 
is what I would like to express; and I 
believe that it will be easy, because it is 
so clear and so simple. 

I don't know what will be the fate of 
the article I wrote in September (on the 
human "rebound" of evolution). Mean- 
while, I wrote (I was asked to write) a 
few (strong) lines on Lecomte du Nouy 
whose views, as you know, are exactly 

vous le savez, parallelisent exacte- 
ment les miennes (excepte qu'il ne va 
pas assez "jusqu'au bout", me semble- 
t-il). Mme Lecomte du Nouy (la cous- 
ine de Nathaly, comme vous le savez) 
vient de m'envoyer une lettre bien 
touchante. Ma lettre est la derniere qui 
soit arrivee A son mart . . . 

Man pour le luxueux envoi de ciga- 
rettes, quej'ai trouve dans ma chambre 
en rentrant id. It is too much, dearest 
J'aurais bien voulu voir les Vincent's 
eux-memes! mais quand Us ont passe 
j'etais encore a St Germain. Je suppose 
qu'ils trouveront bien le moyen de 
venir quelquefois a Paris (ainsi que les 
Lago, qui sont nommes a Bruxelles, 
m'ont dit le Baron Guillaume et 

Dimanche dernier, je suis alle au the 
chez les Dorget (qui vont aller a Mex- 
ico pour la reunion de VUnesco). II y 
avait la P. Leroy, en excellente forme. 
Hier, j'ai dijeitne a VUnesco, avec les 
Huxley (en partance, eux aussi, pour 
Mexico); j'y ai revu Franqoise Raphael, 
toujours aussi vive et aussi jeune; elle 
ne va pal a Mexico. Max Begotten est 
arrive, mais si anemie qu'il ne repartira 
pas pour le Maroc avant Decembre; 
Simone est decidee a I'accompagner; je 
dois les revoir apres-demain. - 

Merci pour la liste de livres. Je vous 
diraicedontj'ai besoin. 

Good bye, dw£St +++ 



Merci tant pour vos deux lettres du 
3 et 15 Novembre (cette derniere 
arrivee en mime temps que la gentille 
lettre d'Eleonore, qui m'a fait un tres 
grand plaisir, et a laquelle je repond- 

And it is so sweet of you to send 
reach me (the delay is quite normal); but 

parallel to mine (except that it seems to 
me he does not go far enough). Mme 
Lecomte du Nouy (Nathaly's cousin as 
you know) has just sent me a very 
touching letter. My letter was the last 
her husband received. 

Thank you for the luxurious ship- 
ment of cigarettes which I found in my 
room on my return. It is too much, 
dearest. I would very much have liked 
to see the Vincents themselves! But I 
was still in St Germain when they came 
through. I imagine they will find a way 
to come to Paris sometimes. (As well as 
the Lagos, who have been sent to Brus- 
sels, as I was told by Baron Guillaume 
and by Scheven). 

I had tea last Sunday at the Dorgets 
(who will go to Mexico City for the 
UNESCO meeting). P. Leroy was there 
in excellent form. Yesterday I had 
lunch at UNESCO with the Huxleys 
(also ready to leave for Mexico); I saw 
Franchise Raphael there, still very viva- 
cious and young; she is not going to 
Mexico. Max Begouen has arrived, but 
so anemic that he will not go back to 
Morocco before December; Simone has 
decided to go with him; I will see them 
again the day after to-morrow. 

Thank you for the list of books. I'll 
tell you what I need. 





Rue Monsieur 
Paris, 21 Nov. 1947 

Thank you so very much for your 
two letters of the 3rd and 15th of 
November (the latter arrived at the 
same time as Eleonore's very nice letter 
which gave me great pleasure and 
which I will answer). 
me a Xmas package. In fact it did not yet 
you may be sure that it will be welcome. 





Quoi que vous ait dit Mrs. David- 
son, il est trks difficile de se procurer 
beaucoup de choses en France en dehors 
du marchi noir (ou tout se trouve, en 
effet, mats a des prix excessifs). II ne 
faudrait tout de mime pas que vous 
croyiez that we are starving, et que 
"vous vous enleviez pour moi le pain 
de la bouche". La vie, mime a Paris, 
demeure possible, ou mime relative- 
ment confortable (so far!): mais elle 
demeure difficile, et souvent mime tres 
difficile pour les petites et moyennes 
bourses. Done, encore unefois, merci, et 
merci tantipour la chose, etplus encore 
pour I'idee. 

En ce qui me concerne, Hen de tres 
particulier. J'ai I'impression d'aller 
tout a fait bien. Dans quelques jours je 
vais aller revoir mon medecin pour lui 
demander quelques avis concernant ma 
reprise de la vie normale, au debut de 
decembre. Je sais d'avance ce qu'il me 
dira: "Le moins d' efforts possible". 
Mais ce West pas facile de savoir ce que 
ceci veut dire. En attendant, j'ai repris 
quelques sorties en ville; et je m'en 
trouve bien. Par ailleurs, bien des gens 
ont recommence a venir me voir, exact- 
ement comme avant; etje me suis remis 
a ecrire, aussi comme avant, — de sorte 
que le temps passe vite de facon 
interessante. Maisje ne vols pas encore 
bien clair en avant, — soit pcq. je ne 
sais pas encore bien les limites de mes 
forces, soit parce que j'ignore le rayon 
des libertes que Vautorite me laissera 
prendre. De ce dernier cote il est deja 
clair que mon action (sinon mes publi- 
cations) n'a Hen a craindre des restric- 
tions qu'on m'a imposees. Les idees qui 
me sont chores progressent et se repan- 
dent juste comme auparavant. Etpuis 
mes amis (bien places) me soutiennent 
vigoureusement. Ces derniers jours, 
dans son discours d'ouverture des 
cours, le Recteur de VUniversite catho- 
lique de Toulouse has delivered a regu- 
lar "eloge" of me . . . Almost too much! 

Whatever Mrs. Davidson told you, it 
is very difficult to buy many things in 
France outside the black market (where 
anything can be bought at excessive 
prices). However, you must not think 
that we are starving and you must not 
"take the bread out of your mouth" for 
me. Life, even in Paris, remains possi- 
ble, or even relatively comfortable (so 
far!): but it remains difficult, and often 
very difficult for people with small or 
average incomes. So, once again, thank 
you, thank you very much for the pack- 
age and even more for the thought 

As far as I am concerned, there is 
nothing very special to report. I have 
the impression I am really fine. I will 
see my doctor in a few days to ask 
advice concerning the resumption of 
normal life early in December. I already 
know what he will tell me: "The least 
efforts possible." But it isn't easy to 
know what this means. Meanwhile, I 
have resumed short trips around town 
-and I have felt well. Besides that, 
many people are coming to see me just 
as before, and I have started writing 
again, also as before — so that time 
passes quickly and interestingly. But I 
still don't see ahead clearly - either 
because so far I do not really know the 
limits of my strength, or because I do 
not know the range of freedom which 
the authorities will allow me to take. 
From their side, it is already clear that 
my activity (except for my publica- 
tions) have nothing to fear from the 
restrictions which have been imposed 
on me. The ideas that are dear to me 
progress and spread just as before. 
Also, my (well placed) friends are sup- 
porting me vigorously. Recently, in his 
opening speech, the Rector of the Cath- 
olic University in Toulouse has given 
me a real testimonial — almost too 

Pour en revenir & mes pro jets d'ave- 
nir, ce queje voudrais savoir, et ce qu'il 
me faudra bien essayer tot ou tard, 
c'est dans quelle mesure je puis repren- 
dre de longs voyages, Ida Treat (did 
you see her, by the way?) m'a ecrit que 
Weidenreich etaitpret a m' envoy er une 
lettre d'invitation a venir passer qq. 
temps H V American Museum, Bien que 
je ne vois pas de raison scientifique 
bien sirieuse pour ce sejour, il y a cer- 
tainement la quelque chose a con- 
sidirer, soigneusement A la rigueur, et 
si tout allait bien, je pourrais meme 
considerer, en outre, un retour en 
Europe par VAfrique du Sud, pour 
laquelle il est stirement beaucoup plus 
facile de trouver un bateau en 
AmMque qu'en Europe. Ce qui me fait 
songer a cela est la rencontre, id, de 
Henry Field et de Philipps. Le premier 
m'a apporte de vos nouvelles; et le sec- 
ond m'a chaudement invite a joindre 
son expedition. Je lui ai dit qu'il n'y 
avait rien a faire, malheureusement 
pour le moment, - mais que peut-etre 
pendant I'ete prochain . . . Mais que 
seront les conditions politiques et 
economiques a ce moment? - Done, 
pourfinir, et en deux mots: voyage en 
AmMque possible, vers le printemps; 
mais rien de sdr. 

Passons maintenant aux habitants 
de Paris. Dans ma famille, un tene- 
ment heureux: ma nihee (la soeur de 
man neveu disparu en juillet) vient de 
sefiancer, avec unfortgentilgarqon. Le 
manage se fera juste apres Pdques. - 
Simone, dicidhnent, report pour le 
Maroc (a moins que le service des 
paquebots ne soit interrompu par 
quelque grtve, elle devrait partir dans 
trois jours, Max la suivant de prte, en 
avion). lis vont me manquer, tous les 
deux; mais, pour Simone, c'est un tel 
progris sur Van dernier, qu'on ne peut 
que se rijouir. Et puis, sur les entre- 
faites, Rhoda est arrivee. je crois bien 
qu'elle ne pouvait se tenir de venir voir 

To get back to my plans for the THEIR 
future, what I would like to know and J* 4 *- 4 * 
what I will have to try sooner or later, is LETTERS 
to what extent I can make long trips. ?7? 
Ida Treat (did you see her, by the way?) 
wrote me that Weidenreich was ready 
to send me an invitation to come and 
spend some time at the American 
Museum. Although I don't see any 
serious scientific reason for this stay, it 
is certainly something to consider care- 
fully. Eventually, and if all went well, I 
could even consider a return trip to 
Europe via South Africa for which it is 
surely much easier to find a ship in 
America than in Europe. What makes 
me think of that is meeting here with 
Henry Field and Philipps. The first 
brought me news of you; and the sec- 
ond warmly invited me to take part in 
his expedition. I told him that, unfortu- 
nately, nothing could be done at the 
moment — but perhaps next summer. 
But what will the political and eco- 
nomic conditions be at that time? So, 
finally, in two words: a trip to America, 
possibly in the spring; but nothing defi- 

Now, about people in Paris: in my 
family, a happy event: my niece (the 
sister of my nephew who died in July) 
just became engaged to an extremely 
nice young man. The wedding will 
take place just after Easter. Simone is 
definitely going back to Morocco 
(unless the steamer service is inter- 
rupted by some strike, she should leave 
in three days; Max will follow her 
shortly by plane). I will miss both of 
them. As for Simone, I see such 
progress in her, compared to last year, 
that one can but rejoice. And then, 
meanwhile, Rhoda arrived. I quite 
believe she couldn't wait to see if I was 
really alive. Her second stay was made 





si j'etais bien encore vivant. Ce deux- 
ieme sejour lui a ete facilite par la 
presence de son frere et de sa belle- 
soeur a Paris. Elle repart au com- 
mencement de Decembre: toujours 
aussi active et realiste, et aussi decidee 
a poursuivre une carriere litteraire. Elle 
est certainement douee pour la psy- 
chologic - Et de la voir a certainement 
ranime mon desir de revoir VAmerique, 

easier by the presence of her brother 
and sister-in-law in Paris. She will 
leave early in December she is as 
active and realistic as ever, and also has 
decided to carry on a literary career. 
She certainly has a gift for psychology. 
And seeing her again has certainly 
reawakened my desire to go to Amer- 
ica, and more particularly to Washing- 

etplus particulierement Washington. 

Yes, Lucile, you have been so sweet et so patient, all these years. If only I 
could do something really good for you and to you! Anyhow, who ever talked to 
you during the night was certainly from God and heaven, because nothing can be 
added to the words you have heard, except to realize and to feel their full meaning 
ever more. 

Je songeais justement ces temps-ci 
que toute Vessence de mon "evangile" 
peut en somme se ramener a ces simples 
mots: non seulement "Dieu est amour", 
comme repetait St Jean; mais "le 
Monde est amour", dans la mesure ou 
il ne s'acheve et ne prend de sens que 
nous subissons et rejoignons Dieu (a 
trovers et sous la forme de tous efforts 
et de tous evenements) par amour. 
I! amour est la forme superieure, stable 
et definitive de toute energie, - comme 
nous le disions deja en traduisant 
'TEnergie Humaine". Do you remem- 
ber? (J'ai ete si emu en revoyant le petit 
snapshot de Peking que vous m'avez 
envoye. Mais il ne faut rien regretter: 
ces annees ont ete riches etfecondes, a 
Ta Tien Shui hutung; elks ont porte 
leur fruit; il faut toujours regarder en 
avant. Je suis content que vous ayez 
trouve, pour votre sculpture, un sujet 
inspirant, — celui-la mime, peut-etre, 
que vous n'avez jamais cherche sous 
tous vos tdtonnements des dernieres 

Je pense vous ecrire bientot, - en tous 
cas des que je recevrai votre package. 
En attendant, mille douces choses a 
Eleonore, — et a vous toujours aussi 

Indeed, I was recently thinking that 
the essence of my "gospel" can be sum- 
marized by these simple words: not 
only "God is love," as Saint John used 
to say, but "the World is love" and it is 
only fulfilled and takes on meaning to 
the extent that we submit to God and 
rejoin him (through and in the shape of 
all efforts and all events) through love. 
Love is the superior, stable, and defini- 
tive form of all energy — as we were 
already saying when we translated 
"Human Energy." Do you remember? 
(I was so moved when I saw the small 
snapshot of Peking which you sent 
me.) But we have no regrets: those 
years in Ta Tien Shui Hutung were rich 
and fertile and they bore fruits; one 
must always look ahead. I am happy 
that you have found an inspiring sub- 
ject for your sculpture — the very 
same, perhaps which you never looked 
for in all your strivings of the last few 

I will write to you soon again, - in 
any case as soon as I receive your pack- 
age. Meanwhile a thousand best wishes 
to Eleonore — yours always deeply 



121734th Street NW, Washington D.C. THEIR 
Washington, December 13, '47 St. Lucia's Day. J**^* 

Dearest, - 

Again my Saint's day. The first time I remember of writing to you on this day 219 
was in '38 when you were on your way, or already in Burma. What a long time ago and 
yet how close it all is. I wonder if you thought of me especially at Mass this morning. I felt 
that you did - and it seemed to me I was closer to God and to peace and happiness because 
of it - and to the real love. It is wonderful, dear, if you can really feel in your heart that "le 
Monde est amour". Yes, I remember I'Ener pe humaine (I must reread it) and the role of 
love. Is it being achieved? Probably we are all too impatient. How grateful I am to you for 
giving me an understanding of TIME. Of looking at things from the long view, in fact that 
is the only way that things seem to me to make sense. You say "do not regret those years at 
Ta Tien Shui Ching"! Regret!! Oh my dear, they are so much the richest years of my life 
and it is very hard not to long for them - with the war and all it has been especially hard to 
find a path. Perhaps, for me, they were too perfect; and it seems to me I have not always 
been wise in putting into practice the things we talked of and believed in. It has been a 
funny struggle in some ways. Often I feared I would eventually bore you if I became 
"pious" (which I suppose I have not much danger of becoming), and yet I have had to find 
my way to God. It is so very important to me - and I still believe so strongly in the sign 
that you showed me ..and I could not fall too far behind . . well it will be interesting tosee 
. . where we each have gone a very humble pupil . . I hope you will not be too disap- 
pointed in me.. To have a proper perspective of "personal love" . . is still very liard . . The 
things I have always been taught . . and the way . . . well it will be SO wonderful to be able 
to TALK with you again . . 

Pierre, I am so excited at the possibility of your coming here soon. I have hardly 
dared think about it definitely. You must know what it means to me - the focal point of 
my existence since we said goodbye in the little house in '41. And it is so strange how I 
have felt I could not force my coming to France! I am sure my friends think I have been 
very stupid and remiss - perhaps even you do too, but there is something INSIDE that 
kept saying to me that the time had not yet come! I hope with all my heart that I have 
been right. At least, dear, you so surely must know tlwt it was not indifference that kept 
me away. But now the time is almost here - really and truly almost here! Now I long for it 
- and yet I am just a tiny bit afraid - but I don't want to convey that idea - so I will not 
dwell on it now. It is all so very exciting and wonderful. Oh Pierre, you know my heart. 

It was so good to see and talk to Ida Treat whom I like so much. She also gave me 
another picture of Rhoda which is good. Rhoda's book was - well I was interested to see 
that Eleanor objected to it even more than I did - so it was not just ME. However it is 
splendid that she has been able to DO things. Oh, Pierre, Ida told me that you are not 
allowed to smoke!! gosh I always seem to be TOO LATE . . and goodness knows when the 
packages will arrive . . everything seems to take so much time . . please do not wait for that 
before writing again. I look every day for a letter to say definitely that you are coming . . 

This is a stupid letter I fear ..lam realizing that we will be together again before 
very long and I am much too emotional to be very clear . . This is just to wish you a happy 
Christmas . . and every good wish for the New Year . . 

My heart is full to overflowing with love of you and all the things you stand for. 





Thank you infinitely for the things you have given to me and for being you . . God bless 
you and all my love to you . . 

Paris, 11 Decembre, 1947 

Lucile, dearest, 

Merci tant pour voire chere lettre 
datie de la Ste Lucile. C'est moi qui 
aurais dd vous ecrire, ce jour-la ou 
pour ce jour-la. En tous cas, ma pensee 
etait avec vous, - et comme d'habitude 
ma messe a ete dite pour vous, — pour 
que (suivant voire expression si juste) 
vous trouviez voire Dieu. 

Thank you so very much for your 
dear letter written on the day of Saint 
Lucile. It is I who should have written 
to you on that day or for that day. In 
any case, my thoughts were with you 
and, as usual, my mass was said for 
you so that (as you so rightly say) you 
can find your God. 

No, I do not see you (and I would not like you) "pious", Lucile. But it is 
one thing to be "pious", and another one to see the world at the light and under 
the warmth of a personal and leading influence. And that you will get, I hope, 
some day. But do not forget that the discovery of God is something (like Art) 
which is never achieved, although trying to achieve it is probably the greatest joy 
man can feel; at least, that is what I am experiencing each year more. So you have 
to be steady, and patient, and chiefly "confiante". I suppose that the highest form 
of worship is active "confiance" in Life, — confiance which brings peace. 

Que vous dire sur Paris et ma What can I say about Paris and my 
presente existence? — Tout va aussi life at the moment? Everything is as 

bien que possible physiquement, et, 
moralement aussi, je me sens bien en 
forme. La semaine derniere j'ai donne 
deux lectures (en cercles semi-prives, 
mais h des auditoires tres interessants) 
qui m'ont permis de constater que mon 
"message" etait plus clair que jamais, 
dans ma tete et dans mon coeur. J'ai 
meme redige quelques nouvelles pages 
(one more "egg") ces jours-ci. Finale- 
ment, je suis persuade que les diffi- 
cultes venant de Rome n'auront aucun 
inconvenient serieux pour la matura- 
tion et la diffusion de ma pensee, ou 
meme je demande si elles ne seront pas 
un "incentive" de plus pour la faire 
accepter. Le Recteur de I'Universite 
catholique de Toulouse, mon ami Mgr. 
Bruno de Solages vient de faire et pub- 
lier un long discours ou il expose et 
defend (tres habilement) ce qu'il y ade 
plus incontestable dans ma position. Je 
ne sais pas encore Veffet que cette inter- 
vention aura en haut lieu. 

Sauf que je continue a me menager 

good as possible, physically and mor- 
ally as well; I feel very fit. I gave two 
lectures last week (semi-private circles, 
but to very interesting audiences), 
which made me realize that my "mes- 
sage" was clearer than ever in my head 
and in my heart. I even rewrote a few 
new pages (one more "egg") recently. 
Finally, I feel certain that the difficulties 
coming from Rome will present no seri- 
ous drawbacks for the maturation and 
diffusion of my thought; I even wonder 
if they will not be one more "incentive" 
to have my thought accepted. The Rec- 
tor of the Catholic University in Tou- 
louse, my friend Monsignor Bruno de 
Solages, has just given (and published) 
a long speech in which he presents and 
defends (very cleverly) what is most 
incontestable in my position. I still 
don't know what the result of this 
intervention will be in high places. 

Except that I continue to take long 

de tongues nuits et A iviter le metro (A 
cause des escaliers) je reprends une 
existence presque normale, etje vois de 
nombreux amis. Hier par ex. fax ren- 
contri Laurette Dorget, juste rentree, 
avec son mart, de Mexico (Congres de 
IVnesco). Mme. Raphael vient de 
partir pour quinze jours en Algerie. 
Autrement elle est toujours id, A 
I'UNESCO, oil elle reussit admirable- 
ment (adresse: Hotel Reynold's, Rue 
Bertie Albrecht, Paris VIII). Je la vois 
assez souvent, et aussi Leroy, ce dernier 
tris en forme. Avant-hier, vu Ginette 
Bussihe, contente pour le moment avec 
un petit job. Sa soeur (Mme deSercey) 
est aussi icu safille se debrouille bien, 
mats W arrive pas a oublier la Chine. Le 
Dr. est toujours a Peking, bien seul II 
paratt qu'il n'y a aucune securite hors 
de la ville. Beianho (maison du Dr. aux 
Collines) a ete en partie pille. On ne 
pent plus y resider. II paratt que les 
Breal reussissent tres bien. Les Max 
Begotten ont finalement fait tres bon 
voyage (A cause des graves, Simone est 
partie avec Max en avion). Je n'ai pas 
encore de lettre d'eux. 

Dites A Eleonor ma grande affection 
et mes voeux de Noel et Nouvel an. Je 
ne comprends pas que Robert F. lui ait 
ecrit une lettre insatisfaisante. La 
veille de son depart il est venu me voir, 
et m'a dit que dks son retour de Soma- 
lie (dans Oliver) il seferait envoyer a 
Washington (pour quelques jours) pour 
revoir enfin Eleonor, etje suis sitr qu'il 
itait sinchre. 

Rien d'essentiellement nouveau 
pour mes projets de voyage (f attend 
encore qqs automations necessaires). 
Maisj'ai bon espoirl 

Good bye, dearest. I stop here so 
late after Xmasl 
with love 


The parcel did not yet arrive. But eventually it will. — I don't anymore smoke, 
but american cigarettes are a treat for my visitors!! 

nights of rest and avoid the metro (be- THEIR 
cause of the stairs) I am leading a prac- 1941-48 
tically normal life and I see very many UMTEK* 
friends. Yesterday, for example, I met .?i 
Laurette Dorget who had just returned 
with her husband from Mexico (the 
UNESCO convention). Mme Raphael 
recently left for Algeria where she will 
stay a fortnight. Otherwise she is al- 
ways here at UNESCO where she is ex- 
tremely successful. (Address: hotel 
Reynold's, rue Bertie Albrecht, Paris 
VIII). I see her fairly often and also Le- 
roy, who is in great shape. The day be- 
fore yesterday I saw Ginette Bussiere 
quite satisfied for the moment with a lit- 
tle job. Her sister (Mme de Sercey) is 
also here; her daughter is doing well but 
cannot forget China. The Doctor is still 
in Peking, very much alone. It seems 
there is no safety outside the city. Beian- 
ho (the doctor's house on the hills) was 
partly plundered. It cannot be lived in 
anymore. It seems that the Breals are 
doing very well. The Max B£gouens fi- 
nally had a very nice trip (because of the 
strikes, Simone left with Max by plane). 
I have not heard from them yet. 

Give Eleonore my great affection and 
my best greetings for Christmas and the 
New Year. I do not know what to make of 
the unsatisfactory letter that Robert E has 
written to her. The day before he left he 
came to see me and told me that, as soon 
as he returns from Somalia (in the winter), 
he would arrange to be sent to Washing- 
ton (for a few days) so as to finally see Ele- 
onore again; I am sure that he was sincere. 

Nothing essentially new concerning 

my travel plans (I am still waiting for 

some necessary authorizations). But I 

am very hopeful! 

that this letter should reach you not too 





Paris, 2 Janvier '48 

Lucile, dearest, 

Two days ago (that is on the eve of the New Year) your two wonderful 
parcels have finally arrived, in perfect conditions; and in addition to their rich 
material content they were so full of your "presence", heart and hands. I could 
almost feel you . . . Thank you so much for so much you give me. The dressing 
gown is simply wonderful. But whom did you deprieve (yourself probably?), to be 
still in possession of this Chinese, or even pekinese, product? And everything else 
is so practical and useful. Really, I feel spoilt. 

Puisque nous ne sommes encore que Since this is still only January 2nd, I 
le 2 Janvier, je profite de V occasion am taking the opportunity to again 
pour vous redire (et a Eleonore) mes 
plus affectueux souhaits de bonne 
annee. Que 1948 vous apporte toutes 
sortes de douces choses, dearest, et 
surtout beaucoup de paix, de gout et de 
chaleur interieure. Pour moi, ce dernier 
don me parait, de plus en plus, ce qui 
nous est le plus necessaire. J'y ai sou- 
vent songe, depuis quelque temps: ce 
qui rend, dans son essence, le Chris- 
tianisme vrai et irremplacable, c'est 
que seul il se montre capable (d'une 
facon logique et coherente avec I'his- 
toire et la structure de VUnivers) de 
rechauffer et de rendre a lafois aimant 
et aimable le Monde par le dedans. On 
nous menace encore souvent d'une fin 
de I'Humanite par refroidissement de 
la planete: moije pense que ce qui nous 
tuerait bien plus surement, et bien 
avant, ce serait de "geler" interieure- 
ment par impossibility de trouver une 
dme et un coeur aux immensites qui 
nous entrainent et nous entourent 

Mon existence id continue la metne. 
Je vais tres bien physiquement, et 
reprends une vie presque normale (sauf 
que je prolonge encore mes nuits et 
evite le metro). Je n'ai cependant pas 
repris d f occupation bien reguliere (sauf 
d'icrire un pen tous les jours et de par- 
ler beaucoup) par suite du projet, tou- 
jours a Vhorizon, du voyage en 
Amerique. Sur ce point, je n'ai pas 
encore les dernieres autorisations: mais 
ce n'est qu'une affaire de "red tape", et 
je ne prevois aucune difficulty. Je pense 

offer you (and Eleonore) my warmest 
New Year's Greetings. May 1948 bring 
you all kinds of nice things, dearest 
and especially much peace, zest and 
inner warmth. For me, this latter gift 
seems, more and more, what we need 
the most. I have often thought about it 
recently: what makes Christianity, in its 
essence, true and irreplaceable is that it 
alone is capable (in a way which is logi- 
cal and coherent with the history and 
the structure of the Universe) of 
rewarming the world and making it at 
the same time loving and lovable from 
the inside. We are again threatened 
with the end of Humanity through the 
cooling down of the planet: I think that 
what would kill us much more surely 
and much more quickly would be to 
"freeze" internally because of the 
impossibility of finding a soul and a 
heart in the vastness which carries us 
along and surrounds us. 

My existence here is still the same. I 
am very well physically, and my life is 
almost normal again (except that I still 
sleep longer nights and I avoid the 
metro). However, I haven't really 
resumed my regular activities (except 
that I write a little every day and make 
a lot of speeches) because of the still- 
on-the-horizon projected trip to Amer- 
ica. For this point I do not have final 
authorizations but it is only a matter of 
"red tape" and I do not foresee any dif- 
ficulties. I probably will leave around 


partir vers le debut de mars. Mais Hen the beginning of March, but nothing is THEIR 

n'est encore determine. Naturellement, yet quite decided. Naturally, I will keep 1*1-48 

je vous tiendrai au courant. you informed. LETTERS 

Recu une bonne lettre de Max I have received a good letter from 

Bigouen. Simone a bien supports le Max Begouen. Simone had no problem 

voyage en avion; mais les deux sent- with the plane trip, but it seems that 

blent avoir etc assez fatigues; mieux both were pretty tired; they are better 

depuis. Cependant Max renonce a son now. However, Max has given up the 

projet de voyage en Afrique Occiden- idea of going to French West Africa 

tale Francaise, ou il a degrandes ambi- where he has great ambitions for new 

tions de nouvelles plantations. Pour plantations. For Simone this decision is 

Simone, cette decision est ce qui pou- the best thing that could happen. That 

vait arriver de mieux. Comme cela, elle way, she would not be alone. Here P. 

ne restera pas seule. — lei, le P. Leroy Leroy is still well, and he has asked me 

va toujours bien, et il me charge de to send you (you and Eleonore) his best 

vous envoyer (a vous et a Eleonore) ses wishes. Mme Raphael, still working at 

meilleurs voeux. Mme Raphael, tou- UNESCO, is in Algeria at the moment 

jours h I'UNESCO, est en ce moment en where she will stay for a fortnight. Her 

Algerie, pour une quizaine. Son adresse address in Paris: Hotel Reynold's, Rue 

a Paris: Hotel Reynold's, Rue Bertie Bertie Albrecht, Paris VIII. 
Albrecht, Paris VIII. 

Good bye, dearest. Encore mille souhaits de paix et de succes. Et a bientot 
d'autres nouvelles.+++ 

En grande affection, 


Teilhard was still convalescing at the Jesuit house on the Rue Monsieur in Paris when 
Lucile wrote from Washington. The carbons of this letter are incomplete, with the third 
paragraph ending in mid-sentence with the word "might". 

1217 34th St Washington DC 
January 4 1948 

Dearest, - 

Thankyou so very much for your precious letter of Dec. 21. It did not arrive until 
the 30th and I was beginning to fear that you were ill again. And I am so very glad to hear 
that all goes well both physically AND morally . . Pierre, you are, as always, such a won- 
derful example for the rest of us, not to be discouraged by "set backs" and on the contrary 
to find in them an extra stimulus . .It is so splendid and will surely bear fruit. And tint 
you find your ideas are more clear than ever . . and that you have another "egg" in the pro- 
cess of making. I hope I shall have the privilege of seeing it before too long. (Of course I 
realize that it all takes time, copies to be made, etc). 

And especially I thank you for the things you say to me. You have surely hit the 
heart of the matter as concerns me when you say I must have confidence . . You have no 
doubt read through my letters recently that I have been going through a difficult struggle . 
. and a sort of lack of confidence has been the seat of the trouble. I suppose it has been 


TEILHARD brought about at least partly by my "impatience". I could not see that I was making any 
& U1CHE progress an j u seemed to me that I was losing some of the things that I cared for most in 
the world. Even my work has been going very badly. And I realize that I have been mixed 
224 up in my relation to you . . Our friendship has always been primarily a spiritual one, a 
constant seeking together for a closer touch and greater realization of God. That is the 
thing you have always given to me so abundantly and I hope sometimes I have helped you 
too, to see more clearly. In the midst of feeling very much alone (and a bit sorry for myself) 
I thought of how, in His moment of greatest trial, Christ was deserted by his dearest 
friends. Surely there must be a great lesson for all of us here. His steadfastness has mean- 
ingfor all of us. For although our trials are not great or dramatic, they sometimes call for 
our awn small steadfastness and LOVE. And I love what you say, I suppose the highest 
form of worship is "confiance" in Life, - confiance which brings peace" . . I shall try to 
engrave that on my heart, for I know that is the way I will find peace. I do so much appre- 
ciate your constant patience and help with me . . They say that sometimes when you seem 
to be making the least progress is really when you are taking a step ahead ..sol hope very 
much that is what is happening tome . . at any rate I feel more peaceful than I have for 
some time. 

I am sorry that you have not yet gotten your authorization for the trip to Amer- 
ica . . and do hope it will come soon. Especially was I hoping that you might 

America . . and trust that it will come through soon ..I was so hoping you could escape 
this winter in France . . which seems to have some hardships. But the present weather in 
New York, does not sound too good either . . We have not had the heavy snow down here, 
at least not yet . . but Washington is much more mild than NY. How strange . . and rather 
marvelous, to have New York without motor cars or buses and people skiing down 5th 

I had such a sweet letter from Simone yesterday . . what a really precious friend 
she is. I'm sure you must miss her very much . . I hope she will continue to be well down 

So sorry the packages have not arrived . . they surely are VERY slow, the first 
was sent very early November and the other about a week later. 

And now we have started a New Year . . I feel so sure that THIS year we shall 
meet . . now I need it so much that I know it will happen. Now I can meet you with confi- 
dence in my heart. Perhaps this is the lesson I had to learn first . . and it seems that we 
only really learn through suffering. 

Eleanore is well and still working on the same job . . and trying to get used to 
life over here She has heard nothing more from Faure . . all that is rather a strange busi- 
ness and she has not written but probably he will come over this spring and then they 
will know what they want. She has had a rather quiet time mostly, but is out this evening 
with a young man. I think she will try to go to NY soon, to have a "look-see" . . but life is 
rather difficult and very expensive there now . . well so it is everywhere. I too shall proba- 
bly go up again before long. I can always stay with an old friend ..and I like to go for a 

Dearest Precious Teilhard, I do hope this New Year will bring you great Peace 
and happiness and that we will be together again. It would be such a joy for me to see you 
again!! Yes I am sure that it will happen. 

Paris, 3 Fevrier '48 


Thank you so much for your nice letter of Jan. 27. So many things we will 
have to talk over together! since it decidedly seems that I will soon be in Amer- 
ica. Everything seems more or less settled, just now; except that I do not yet have 
my ticket; but a reservation was made on s.s. America; leaving Cherbourg on Febr. 
20 supposedly. My plans are exceedingly vague. Except that I know that I will 
settle in New York, in order to do some work, and much talking, with the people 
at the Museum of Natural Hist. Evidently, I would go to Washington and Boston. 
Nothing definite concerning the duration of my staying there: two months, at 
least. Le teste des pro jets s'eclairdra sur place. 

Id, rien de nouveau. J'ai encore Here, nothing new. I have written 
icrit un nouveau paper derniirement, another paper recently and given sev- 





et donne plusieurs lectures semi- 
privies. Dans Vensemble, et grace a 
Vappui de mes amis, la situation sem- 
ble se detendre sensiblement (le dis- 
cours de Mgr. de Solages, distribue a 
nombreux exemplaires, fait excellente 
impression: I will bring you a copy, 
for the fun). Malgre tout, ce ne sera pas 
mauvais que je disparaisse pour 
quelque temps. 

Socialement parlant, la vie demeure 
agreable. Je vois souvent Leroy, qui 
est resti mon meilleur ami, id comme 
a Peking. Nous sommes alles Vautre 
jour prendre un cocktail avec Jacques 
et Marie-Claire chez Mrs. Coatman. 
On se serait cru de nouveau aPeking. 
Les Cosme sont de nouveau id: Alice 
[Costne] pas encore mariee, son pere 
toujours assez triste et nerueux 
(encore que sa situation politique soit 
maintenant pratiquement arrangee). 
Franqoise Raphael est toujours a 
VUnesco, pardlle a elle-meme. Elle 
habite maintenant I'Hotel Windsor 
(14, Rue Beaujon, Paris VIII), — le 
meme hdtel que Mme VellosoO). Celle- 
d, veuve depuis un an (son mari est 
mart a New York, il etait a VOnu) va 
retourner au Bresil. — Les Lago (main- 
tenant en poste A Bruxelles) viennent 
de temps en temps a Paris; je ne les ai 
pasencore vus. -llya une semaine, j'ai 
dejedne chez les Dorget, avec les 
Scheven. Toujours Peking! 

eral semi-private lectures. On the 
whole and thanks to the support of my 
friends, the situation seems to calm 
down perceptibly (Mgr. de Solages' 
speech, of which many copies have 
been handed out, has made an excel- 
lent impression: I will bring you a copy, 
for the fun). However it is not a bad 
thing that I disappear for a little while. 

Socially speaking, life remains pleas- 
ant. I often see Leroy who remains my 
best friend here as in Peking. The other 
day we went to a cocktail party with 
Jacques and Marie-Claire at Mrs. Coat- 
man's. It felt as if we were back in 
Peking. The Cosmes here again. Alice 
still not married, her father still pretty 
sad and nervous (although his political 
situation is now practically settled). 
Francoise Raphael is still at UNESCO, 
just like herself. She now lives at the 
Hotel Windsor (14, rue Beaujon, Paris 
VIII) - the same hotel as Mme Velloso 
(!). The latter, a widow since last year 
(her husband died in New York, he was 
with the U.N.) is going back to Brazil. 
The Lagos (now in office in Brussels) 
come to Paris from time to time; I have 
not seen them yet. I had lunch a week 
ago at the Dorgets with the Schevens. 
Always Peking! 





Good bye, dearest 1 stop here so that my letter will leave this evening. A 
bientot, apparently. 

Yours, as ever,++ 


When Teilhard arrived in New York in late February, he found both Lucile and Rhoda de 
Terra waiting at the dock. That initial reunion was somewhat awkward. Rhoda had helped 
arrange for his trip and the work at the museum in New York; and Lucile had received Teil- 
hard's itinerary from him in February. 


Merci tant pour votre gentil petit 
mot, de Washington. Ce sera bon de 
regarder fleurir les magnolias, comme 
jadis les cerisiers du Central Park. 
Vous verrez que nous nous "retrouv 
erons", — comme il le faut, — a la 
mesure des temps nouveaux. — 

Finalement, je n'arriverai a Wash- 
ington que mercredi. Dr. Canon (the 
dermatologist) wants to see me again 
on Tuesday. La figure va tout-a-fait 
bien maintenant. Mais j'ai d'autres 
petits ennuis. - 

En grande affection et a bientot. 

Ida Treat vient peut-etre (?) demain. 

New York, 26 March 48 

Thank you so very much for your 
nice note from Washington. It will be 
good to see the magnolias in bloom, 
like the cherry-trees of Central Park 
some time ago. You will see that we 
will "rediscover" one another again - as 
it must be - according to the new times. 

Finally, I will not arrive in Washing- 
ton till Wednesday. Dr. Canon (the der- 
matologist) wants to see me again on 
Tuesday. My face is quite well now. But 
I have other small problems. 

•Fideles amities a Eleonore. 

Teilhard spent a week in Washington, staying in the Jesuit community at Georgetown Uni- 
versity. While there he visited with Lucile and Eleanor Tafel who were living in a house in 
Georgetown. He also spoke at the American Museum of Natural History and reestablished 
contact at the Catholic University of America, as well as with many old friends. Then he 
returned to his work at the museum in New York. 


Ces qqs. lignes pour vous dire com- 
bien j'ai aime, apprecie, enjoyed, la 
derniere semaine, a Washington. — Un 
petit Peking! MfiOi. — You have been 
perfect, — and always the same. — lei, 
j'ai retrouve une vie assez active: gra- 
duellement, les contacts se multiplient, 

New York, April the 11, 1948 

These few lines to tell you how 
much I loved, appreciated, enjoyed last 
week in Washington. A small Peking! . . 
. Thank you : You have been perfect, - 
and always the same. Here I am lead- 
ing again a pretty active life: gradually 
contacts multiply in number and I fore- 


etj'entrevois mieux la possibility d'une see the possibility of a series of lectures THEIR 

serie de lectures, next year. — Vendredi, next year. Friday I gave my talk at the 194M* 

j'ai donne ma causerie au Viking Fund. Viking Fund. Audience a bit too small. LETTERS 

Audience a bit too small. Mais j'etais But I was fit and I could say exactly 

en forme, etj'ai pu dire exactement ce what I thought - in easily understood 

que je pensais, — en une langue com- language. I will speak again on 

prehensible. — Je recommence mer- Wednesday on another subject at the 

credi, sur un autre sujet, aV American American Museum. Helmut de Terra is 

Museum. — Hellmut de Terra est id; here; we met again with pleasure. 

nous nous sommes retrouves avecjoie. Jouve (from Les Etudes, Paris) arrives 

— Jouve (des Etudes, Paris) arrive id around the 15th. And I will see some 

vers le 15. — Et ce soirje vois des col- colleagues from Fordham to-night. You 

legues de Fordham. — Vous voyez que see things are moving. 
cela va. 

A bientot, — et mille choses a Eleonore! 



New York, Friday, May 14, '48 


I am back from Boston, — somewhat tired. Evidently, I want rest Could 
you come to meet me here, next monday, on about 5 P.M. (five o'clock)? We should 
have an early dinner somewhere in the vicinity. 

On Tuesday, if I feel OK., I must meet (at the headquarters of "Common- 
weal") a certain Miss Fremantle, who seems to be a close friend of Mrs. John 
Wiley. Perhaps you know her. 

Yours, as ever, 

The following letter from Lucile is marked "Wednesday/' but is otherwise undated. We 
would suggest a date of May 19, 1948 — largely because of the reference to a Washington 
visit. It would seem that this "May" letter was not sent, nor the slightly shorter version also 
found among her papers. 

Wednesday, New York 

Dear P.T. 

I am very sorry that I "went off the deep end" last evening. I was a poor sport and 
rotten loser. But I thank you for telling me the truth. I suppose I have really known it for a 
long time, but in Washington I thought maybe I was wrong and one does not easily accept 
something that breaks the heart. You say you have not changed toward me.: but of course 
that is not the truth, though you may believe.: I assure it is not true. 

Years ago when you wrote, not once but several times. "What is born between us 
is forever . . I know it. " I feared you did not know (I think no one can know) but I so much 
minted to believe and because of all the circumstances, and also even our ages, made it 
seem very possible, and so I built my life upon it. You also wrote "If you do not find me it 


TEILHARD is not any petty foreign intrusion, but the presence of God . . etc. etc.." and so I believed 
& LUCILE gs y 0U so jt m ^ jjgf we m uld grow closer and closer to each other as we progressed in 
our discovery and love of God. And so it went on for so many years, and you knew exactly 
228 h° w IfeH- tf to M you too often for there to be any doubt in your mind) and that last two 
years did bring this very result of a closer bond and deeper search for all that is Best. I 
write all this because I cannot bear to have you think I am a foolish woman who has built 
her life on figments of her own imagination. You speak of Peking as though it were a sort of 
fantasy or something . . which is not fair . . at least to me they were the most red years of 
my life. You compare me with Ida. I can only say that if Ida had had the same kind of feel- 
ing, it would have been IMPOSSIBLE for her to marry. I know this will change nothing, 
but I had to try to put my case less emotionally and stupidly than I did last night. You feel 
sorry for Ida now. I beg you to have charity for me. Life seems to have absolutely no con- 
sistency and I need your help desperately ..lam sure you can show me a way to go on. 

You say you cannot help what has happened . . Does that mean that there is no 
such thing as free will, are we just victims of fate to be thrown here and there as chance 
decides? Then what is the use of striving? Oh no I do not believe it . . Perhaps that is why 
the Existentialists came into being (at least as I understand what they stand for). 

As you can see I am utterly confused, no that is not quite true, but I do need some 
help very much . . I will be home at 4 on Friday ad I hope you will come as we planned. 


On May 23, 1948 in a letter to Pierre Leroy, Teilhard mentioned ". . . at this moment I am 
undergoing one of those periods of nervous depression such as you witnessed two or three 
times in Peking. Everything seems mountainous to me. Patience!" . . . 

New York, May 30,1948 


Thank you for the precious visit with you today. I need you so much and feel that 
I have found you again, and it makes me deeply happy. You give me faith and hope and 
love and the courage to go on with a real confidence in the future. 

I wish there was something I could do for you; but now I feel sure that things will 
work out. Those years of working together will go on. Not in the same way, of course but 
possibly even more fruitfully. So let us go on. 

Oh Pierre, I do feel happy and confident. Your strength will come back and your 
wonderful work and spirit will go on. I am terribly sorry for "the mix-up" here. So many 
things seem to be necessary to make up Life, perhaps this will serve some useful purpose 
—hope so. I feel sure that it will for me. I'll build on more solid ground — the ground you 
always intended - 1 suppose. But those were such good years. I surely do not regret them, 
only now we will go on to something else — and better. 

And always know that I am your devoted and loving Lucile. 

I wanted to put my arms about you and comfort you. I can't bear to see you suf- 
fering. Wouldn't it relieve the tension if you would weep on my shoulder and tell me, well 
only what you want to tell. I am sure dear, that I can give you motherly love and under- 
standing with no remarks of blame of you or of me. I wish you could do it or anything that 
would help you. You gave me so much yesterday and it is a glorious feeling to know that 
you are the same you whom I can count on for love and strength and help in all things but 

especially in the search of God. Thank you dearest and God bless you and give you peace. THEIR 



New York, June the 4th, '48 229 


These few lines (I am not very much in the mood to write any letter.) to 
tell you haw precious for me was your last letter. — No retreat! Let us go con- 
structively ahead. You can, you must help me. My dearest hope is that now, on a 
clearer and stronger basis, we can build still higher. — In her last letter, my cous- 
ine wrote me this line, which, I am convinced, is the expression of what is grow- 
ing between you and me: "Devant Dieu j'ai compris que je t'aimais mi£M2L (that is 
in a better way), et ainsi queje faimais jdus, ce queje n'aurais pas cru possible". 
- Cest ce qui se verifiera pour nous, aussi. 

Today, the feast of the "Heart" of Christ, — c'est-a-dire la fete de I'Am- 
our-Energk! — a good omen! 



Hope you are feeling better physically!!! 

Teilhard had planned on leaving New York City in July, but instead he set out for Paris the 
day after he wrote to Lucile. Pierre Leroy said that he arrived grief stricken. 

340 East 57th Street New York 22 NX 
June IS, 1948 

Dearest, - 

Now you have been home for several days . . and although New York seems very 
empty without you, I am so glad that you are there . . and not only hope, but pray every 
day that you may be feeling well and yourself again. 

It was so sweet of you to write me that precious note . . / should not have asked 
you . . again remember the "tippling" monk . . the need was great. How beautifully your 
cousin expresses herself and how good of you to say that that is what is happening to us 
too. Most good things have to go through a painful birth ..sol hope and believe that this 
new relationship . . well really not so new, just more clear . . will be stronger and healthier 
than ever. I know that this is the basis on which there need be no limit. But sometimes, 
even tho one knows what is best, it is hard to not get things mixed up. One wants so much 
in this life!! 

It took me a few days to feel quite alright again. And then I went to the country 
for a long week-end. And now feel very well again. And even went over today to make the 
first steps for getting a passport. And have practically decided to go on the French Liner de 
Grasse about the 17th of August, so I would be in Paris for a few days on my way to Swit- 
zerland to the Vincents . . that would be the latter part of August and I suppose you will 
be far away in the country at that time. If you are only at St Germainel! that is not very 
faraway . . Well all that is some time off but still I have to begin to start things here. 






I think this trip will be good for me. I know I have been dull lately, feel as if I had 
been living in a sort of strange fog for sometime. I may even study painting with someone 
this fall. But I think now that I will go to Rome for several months . . and stop in Paris an 
my way home, probably late December or the first of the year . . of course all plans are sub- 
ject to change?? but it is fun making them, and this time it will probably go through. 

I do so hope you will feel well enough to write me a note ..lam so very anxious 
to hear about the trip . . did your very serious Dutchman cabin mate, prove to be nice and 
what of the "rich man" who was there . . Im sure they took good care of you is such a 
pleasure to take care of you Pierre . . you are such a dear precious person who radiates love. 

Haw deeply and earnestly I want to be worthy of your friendship.! know that 
with Time and patience (especially with myself) the joy and confidence in Life are growing 
. . and that with faith and active lave, I shall find and feel a closer tie with God. Which 
will give me a greater understanding of Love . . Yes, "]e t'aimais MIEUX. " 

Do take good care of yourself and dont start doing too much again, and please, if 
possible, let me have just a few lines to know how you are and if the trip was good . . 

Always your devoted 

15 Rue Monsieur, Paris VII 


Your precious letter of June IS has just arrived. 
Merci. Elle me dit tout ce que It tells me all that I hoped for — all 
j'esperais, — tout ce dont j'ai besoin. that I need. Now really and more than 

Maintenant, vraiment, plus vraiment 
que jamais, le futur est a nous, a la 
lumiere grandissante de Dieu. Let us go 
ahead, — and "no retreat" 1 . 

Mon voyage s'est effectue assez 
calmement, mais pas trop gaiement, 
dans la cabine embaumee par votre 
souvenir et les fleurs d'Eleonore. Plu- 
sieurs relations agreables a bord, mais 
pas de vrais amis: la solitude dans la 
foule. Je suis arrive a Paris plutot 
deprime. Heureusement Leroy m'atten- 
dait sur le quai de St Lazare, et il a 
commence a me reconforter. Je ne me 
sens pas encore solide. Mais j'ai un tres 
bon medecin qui vient souvent causer 
avec moi. Je crois que je commence a 
me remonter. Je comprends encore assez 
mal ce qui m'est arrive, line affaire 
purement organique, me dit mon ami, 
declanche par un peu d' emotion trop 

Naturellement je me trouve pris id 
dans un petit tourbillon de courrier en 
retard, et de gens a revoir, — attendus 

ever, the future is ours under the ever 
growing light of God. Let us go ahead - 
and "no retreat". 

My trip was quite calm but not too 
cheerful in the cabin fragrant with your 
memory and Eleonore's flowers. A few 
pleasant acquaintances on board, but 
no real friends: solitude in the crowd. I 
arrived in Paris rather depressed. For- 
tunately, Leroy was waiting for me on 
the platform at Saint-Lazare and he 
started to comfort me. I am still not 
very strong, but I have a very good 
doctor friend who often comes to talk 
with me. I think I am beginning to feel 
better. I still do not really understand 
what happened. A purely organic 
problem, says my friend, triggered by 
strong emotions. 

Naturally, I am now caught up in a 
small whirlwind of letters to answer 
and people — expected or unexpected 

et inattendus: hier c'etaitJ.S. Lee (I'an- 
cien du Geol. Survey, avec Wong et 
Ting) qui me tombaitdu del Conversa- 
tion tris affectueuse, mais dont finale- 
ment je n'ai Hen tire (ni trop ose 
demander) sur I'itat des choses en 
Chine, du cdte Nanking. Revu mon 
frhrei le jeune menage semble Ms heu- 
reux et heureusement installe en 
Auvergne. Demain je dois alter voir 
Malvim Hoffman dans son studio. Elle 
est encore a Paris pour une quinzaine 
de jours, je crois: nous parlerons de 

J'ai trouve id (etje vous envoie par 
ordinary mail) V article de moi publie 
en avril II me semble bon; et il ne 
paratt avoir susdte aucune reaction 
fdcheuse. Cest bon signe. II faudrait 
que je me remette a ecrire quelque 
courte chose (j'ai une idee, venue a 
NX): ce serait pour moi la meilleure 
des cures. — Pas de nouvelles des 
Begouen. Certains pensent qu'ils 
doivent revenir pour qq. temps cet ete. 

Good bye dearest, je doute d'etre a 
Paris, fin-aotit (rien n'est decide); mais, 
a la fin de I'annee, ce serait patfait! 
Pas de nouvelles encore de Rome, pour 
les conferences d'Amerique. 

— to see: yesterday it was J.S. Lee (who 
used to work for the Geological Sur- 
vey; with Wong and Ting) who arrived 
out of the blue. Very friendly conversa- 
tion, but from which finally I learned 
nothing — nor dared to ask — about 
the situation in China, of Nanking. I 
saw my brother again: the young cou- 
ple seems very happy and happily set- 
tled in Auvergne. I must visit Malvina 
Hoffman in her studio tomorrow. She 
will stay in Paris for another fortnight, I 
think. We'll talk about you. 

I found here (and I am sending it to 
you by ordinary mail) my article which 
was published in April. I believe it is 
good and it doesn't seem to have pro- 
voked any angry reaction. This is a good 
sign. I should start to write again, some- 
thing short (I have an idea which came to 
me in New York): it certainly would be 
the best therapy for me. No news from the 
Begouens. Some people think they will 
come back for some time this summer. 

Good bye, dearest. I probably will 
not be in Paris at the end of August 
(although nothing is decided); but, at the 
end of the year, it would be perfect! No 
news yet from Rome, about the lectures 
in America. 





God bless you; etje compte tout sur vous. 

Grands et affectueux souvenirs a Eleonore. )e n'ai pas encore accroche Faure . 

IS Rue Monsieur, Paris VII 


So many thanks for your dear long letter of July 2. In some way I am glad 
to think that you are now resting and working in the country. I hope however 
that you enjoy a better weather than we here: lot of rain, and almost no heat. 

Personally, I have gradually resumed my almost normal life. 
Essai de travail personnel pendant I try to do some personal work in the 
la matinie (interrompu generalement morning (generally interrupted by 
par beaucoup de visites ou de coups de many visitors or phone calls) and visits 
telephone) et visites en ville le soir. in town in the evening. Physically, I 
Physiquement, je ne me sens pas encore still do not feel all that well (I have not 

TE1LHAKD tres brillant (je ne suis pas encore 

&LUC1LE degage de ma depression nerveuse), et 

CORRESPOND ^ p ren ds encore des pilules de toutes 

™ sortes. Mais je tdche d'y penser le 

moins possible. Et puis un excellent 

ami docteur est la pour me surveiller. Je 

pense toujours aller passer quelque 

temps chez mon frhe en Auvergne en 

ao&t et septembre; mais Hen n'est 

encore definitivementfixi. 

Depuis ma derniere lettre, la chose 
la plus marquante en ce qui me con- 
cerne est que le College de France me 
propose une chaire de Prehistoire. J'ai 
ecrit a Rome pour savoir si cette fois 
on m'autorise. Mais je n'ai pas encore 
de reponse (ce qui est normal). En fait 
je ne suis qu'a moitie desireux d'ac- 
cepter cette situation (ce serait pour 
deux ou trots ans settlement), qui 
m' oblige, je trouve a un nombre un peu 
trop grand de conferences. Attendons la 
suite des evenements. Dans la meme 
lettre, a Rome, j'ai aussi aborde la 
question des conferences en Amerique; 
mais sur ce dernier point je n' attends 
pas une reponse rapide, pcq. je suppose 
que Rome consultera New-York, et cela 
prend du temps. — J'ai fini le court 
Essai dont je vous parlais (sur les 
Directions et Conditions de VAvenir 
Humain): mais je ne sais pas encore si 
ni ou je pourrai le publier. D'ici Octo- 
bre, je voudrais rediger, en une serie de 
courtes propositions bien enchainees, 
I'essentiel de ma Weltanschauung 
(Phenomenologie, Metaphysique, Mys- 
tique) sous le titre u Comment je vois". 
Je crois que j'y arriverai facilement, et 
que cela m'interessera. 

Recu avant-hier des nouvelles d'lda. 
Ses affaires ne paraissent pas s'ar- 
ranger du tout Cela me navre pour elle. 
— Et cela me navre aussi d'apprendre 
par vous la reponse de Faure a 
Eleonore. A celui-ci (Faure) j'ai ecrit 
des mon arrivee; et je n'ai pas recu 
encore de reponse, preuve qu'il n'est 
pas a Paris. II faudrait que je le vois. 

completely recovered from my nervous 
depression) and I still take all kinds of 
pills. But I try to think about it as little 
as possible. Also, an excellent friend of 
mine, a doctor, is there to keep an eye 
> on me. I am still thinking of spending 
some time at my brother's in Auvergne 
in August and September, but nothing 
has been definitely decided. 

Since my last letter the most impor- 
tant thing, as far as I am concerned, is 
that the College de France has offered 
me a chair in Prehistory. I have written 
to Rome to ask if they would give me 
the authorization this time. But I have 
not had a reply yet (which is normal). 
In fact, I am only half desirous to accept 
this position (which would be for two 
or three years only) and which would 
require me to give, in my opinion, too 
many lectures. Let's wait and see. In 
the same letter to Rome I also intro- 
duced the question of the lectures in 
America; but to this last point I am not 
expecting a quick answer, because I 
imagine that Rome will get in touch 
with New York, and that takes time. I 
have finished the short essay I told you 
about (on the Directions and Condi- 
tions of the Future of Man). But I don't 
know yet if, or where, I will be able to 
publish it. Before October I would like 
to compose, in a series of short, well- 
linked propositions, the essential of my 
Weltanschauung (Phenomenology, 
Metaphysics, Mystic) under the title 
"How I See". I think I will be able to do 
it easily and that it will interest me. 

I received the day before yesterday 
news from Ida. It seems that her affairs 
are not working out at all. This grieves 
me for her. And it upsets me also to 
hear (from you) Faure's answer to Ele- 
onore. I wrote to the former (Faure) on 
my arrival, but I still have not received 
a reply; proof that he is not in Paris. I 
should see him. But when? At the first 

Mais quand? A V occasion, dites a 
EUonore ma grande etfidele affection. 
Jeferai toujours pour elk tout ce que je 
pourrai, bien stir. 

lei, je vois assez regulierement Leroy 
et Mme Raphael (celle-ci toujours a 
I'Hdtel Windsor, 14, Rue Beaujon, 
Paris IX, tout pres de VEtoile (Phone: 
CARnot 73.00), ou a son office a 
11INESC0; 19 Avenue Kleber, XVI, 
Phone: KLEber 52.00)* Le Laboratoire 
de Leroy est: 4, Avenue Gordon Ben- 
nett, Paris XVI, PhoneMOLitor 57.66. 
-Malvina H. est encore id pour un 
mois. Je dois oiler la voir dans deux 
jours: elle s'acharne a mon buste, et 
m'affirme que la version "souriante" a 
fait de grands progres. 

Merci de m'envoyer les papers sur 
Einstein et les federalists. Cela me 
servira beaucoup. Dimanche dernier 
j'ai recommence a donner une causerie 
a un groupe de sympathisants. Cetait 
pres de VEtoile, dans un remarquable 
studio, ou un artiste, Deveche, fait 
d'etonnantes tapisseries modernes, qui 
m'ont beaucoup impressionne. J'ai 
parli de la necessite pour nous de re- 
developper un nouveau "sens de 
Vespice" et d'expliciter notre "Mys- 
tique de VOuest". Samedi dernier, dans 
une reunion du World Congress for the 
Union of Faiths, j'ai rencontre qqs 
instants Aldous Huxley, de passage en 
Europe. J'espere le revoir plus serieuse- 
ment A la fin du mois. 

opportunity give Eleonore my great 
and faithful affection. I will always do 
the best I can for her, of course. 

I see Leroy and Mme Raphael fairly 
regularly (the latter is at the Hotel 
Windsor, 14 rue Beaujon, Paris IX, close 
to Etoile. Tel: CARnot 73-00 or at her 
office at UNESCO, 19 Avenue Kleber, 
XVI, telephone: KLEber 52-00). Leroy's 
laboratory is 4 Avenue Gordon Bennett, 
Paris XVI, telephone: MOLitor 57-66. 
Malvina H. is still here for one more 
month. I plan to go and see her in two 
days: she is working very hard at my 
bust and tells me that the "smiling" 
version has progressed very well 

Thank you for sending me the 
papers on Einstein and the federalists. 
They will be very useful to me. Last 
Sunday, I started again giving a talk to 
a group of sympathizers. It was near 
the Etoile, in a stunning studio where 
an artist, Deveche, makes some 
extraordinary modern tapestries 
which impressed me very much. I 
spoke of the necessity for us to develop 
a new "sense of the species" and to 
explain our "Western Mysticism." Last 
Saturday, in a meeting of the World 
Congress for the Union of Faiths, for a 
short while I met Aldous Huxley who 
is passing through Europe. I hope to 
see him again more seriously at the end 
of the month. 
Good bye, dearest On the whole, as you see, things are going sufficiently 
well. But you must keep on helping me. I need force and elan. I pray (and you, too, 
do pray) God that under his attraction we "converge" always closer dans sa 
chaude lumiere. 





My best regards to Mary Parton 

Pas de nouvelles des Begouens. 
Je vousferai savoir si Us viennent, 
et leur adresse. 





15 Rue Monsieur, Paris VII 


Just received your long and sweet letter from Poughkeepsie. And I want 
to answer you immediately, before I leave, this afternoon for a weekend in the 
vicinity of Paris. After which I will stay here for a while (up to August 15), then 
join my brother in Auvergnefor a month. 

Now, something new has happened in my prospects of the next year. 
Meaning that, instead of answering me yes or no concerning the american lectures 
and the College de Trance, my General asks me (most kindly) to come to Rome 
sometime in October or November, for a few weeks, so that we could talk: and the 
meaning of the letter is that he, the General, is confident that my book might be 
printed, and everything allowed, both for America and France. To be true, I do net 
like to go to see the people in Rome; but I can not refuse; — and besides this 
opportunity of talking with the big wigs down there is perhaps the chance of my 
life. Consequently I am decided to go (probably on about the 15 of October: what 
a marvelous coincidence if you were there at the same time! Evidently, I should 
not be specially free in such surroundings. But still!). The only trouble is that, 
according to the General's plan, 1 would know only at the beginning of November 
whether I can lecture: and I must answer (both the Viking Fund and the College de 
France) before October. So, three weeks ago, I wrote to Rome on this particular 
point. And I am still waiting for an answer. But I keep rather confident that 
everything will be OK. I will let you know. 

Id, Hen de bien nouveau. Je viens de Here nothing really new. I have just 

terminer le brouillon de "Comment je 
vois": 38 propositions, et une quaran- 
taine de pages. Reste a recopier cela;je 
tdcherai de le faire chez mon frere. 
Nous sortons d'un congres de Zoologie, 
ou j'ai vu Colbert: cela m'a remis a 
N.Y.! Pas de nouvelles de Simone: on 
m'a dit qu'elle etait deja en France, 
chez son beau-pete, dans VArilge. Je 
Vavertirai de voire passage a Paris. 

Bien recu V article sur Einstein et le 
livre de Ralph Linton. Merci tant de 

finished writing the draft of "How I 
See": 38 propositions and about 40 
pages. I still have to copy it; I will try to 
do this at my brother's. We just came 
out of a Zoology convention where I 
saw Colbert; that took me back to New 
York! No news from Simone. I was told 
that she is in France at her father-in- 
law's house in the Ariege. I'll tell her 
about your coming to Paris. 

I have received the article on Ein- 
stein and Ralph Linton's book. Thank 

collaborer ainsi. Cest tres doux pour you very much for collaborating with 

moi de recevoir cela de vous . . . Puisse 
cette lettre vous rejoindre a temps a 

Ecrivez-moi toujours id. On mefera 

En grande affection, 



me so well. It is so sweet to receive that 
from you. May this letter reach you on 
time in Washington! 

Continue writing to me here. Your 
letters will be forwarded. 

All my affection. 



Ci-joint un mot pour Eleonore 

Enclosed a note for Eleonore. 

[?] 8fl 7/48 h bord le De Grasse THEIR 


Dearest - 

Now we are nearly in New York - and again one has to start again -finding a 
place to live and starting all over again: I have done it so often - perhaps that is my Fate - 235 
but with all its difficulties I like it better than forever living in the same place - 

There is a very small 1st class group and I have met no one who interests me 
much - so I have been reading and walking - and thinking quite a lot about my work, and 1 
am beginning to see more clearly what I want to paint - It is all quite simple - Ym really 
very modest - as I realize more and more how difficult it is to create - and all these 
thoughts make me appreciate what you are doing - 1 suppose real creative thoug ht, is the 
most difficult thing there is -I do think that the original Light or inspiration is God given 

- but what one does with the inspiration - is pretty much up to oneself- and you have cre- 
ated out of the air - out of yourself- a way of seeing, of thinking of regarding the world - 
that is full of hope and faith and an always grander future - one that leads to Some One 
and gives meaning and purpose to everyone - 1 hope Lecture 5 is progressing to your satis- 
faction and that the whole series will express your ideas clearly and as you wish them to be 
expressed, and then, also important, that they will be published and spread far and wide — 
Pierre dearest - if that does not come immediately it must, it will come eventually. Some- 
times that must be rather hard to take, when I know how much you want to do now. But 
perhaps your role is to give birth to the ideas, and it will later be someone else who will 
spread them. So often this has happened as you so well know. So my prayer is now that 
you will have the strength and an always clearer vision of the Truth. I do so hope my dear 
that you are feeling well again and that you are having a good time, it was so good to hear 
your gay laughter the last time we were together. Oh Pierre we did have a good time didn't 
we. I know you enjoyed it to — and the realization tliat our friendship is so alive and we 
have so much to give to each other — it makes me very Jiappy and I feel strong for doing 
good things this winter. St. Francis, or whoever it was who came to me that time and said 
"to give love, always give love and everything will be alright", was so right and I am very 
grateful for that vision or whatever it was — it was so clear and strong tliat it comes back 
to me at times when I might forget. Life seems so confusing at times. 

Like others, this handwritten August letter may not have been mailed. It does not seem to 
fit with either L's June 15 letter or RTs September 3 letter. It may have been written the fol- 
lowing year. 

Les Moulins, Sept. 3, 1948 


Such a thrill to receive your letter from Paris! — And such a happy feel- 
ing that you like it! - Yes, let us hope that this new contact with so many old 
things will rejuvenate you, and show you your line of life, and, ipso facto, your 
God. — And, concerning this last point, don't be mistaken. It is not for you only, 

— it is for everybody, I suppose, that the greatest effort and difficulty is not to 
conceive an attractive face of God, — but to make it real, and alive, and present 
at the deepest of ourselves and of every thing. And, ultimately, He alone can make 
Himself present to us: we cannot snatch the Light, — but the Light comes to us. 
At least this is one of the big differences between Christian and Indian mystics 
that we can not force God to ourselves. But we can ask him, pray him: and the 






more I am getting more experienced (or at least older) the more I am convinced 
that the simplest and the highest of the prayers is to rely actively on the count- 
less events (small and big) of Life — of our own life — with the confidence that 
these very events, if received and used with "faith and love", are the shortest and 
the closest way to become One with the Center of everything. 

But we shall have plenty of time to discuss that My own plans remain 
the same. On about Sept.15 1 will be back in Paris, and make me ready for the 
Rome's trip, which has to be advanced rather than postponed, since I am required 
to answer "yes or no" to the College de France at the very beginning of November: 
meaning that I should leave Paris on, or rather before, October 10. — 

Here, I enjoy a complete quietness (I am even making, in a very moderate 
way, my "retreat")- Yet, I still feel too much this unpleasant physical anxiety, 
which is, since years, one of my weak points. - The country is beautiful, — and we 
are here in the deep of the country, at 7 miles of the closest railway station. A 
wonderful sight too: first the woody rolling hills; and then the plaine de la 
Limagne; and then the volcanoes; - some forty of them, forming the skyline. — I 
read a little, I take long walks under the old oaks, and I think a lot. — 

In the meantime, 1 hope that you got in touch with Leroy and Mrs. 
Raphael: they were expecting you. 

A bientot, in any case. 

God bless you, dearest! 


Yes, I think 1 should love 
the book ofG. Green. - 

Lucile visited her old friends, Betty and John Carter Vincent in Bern during September and 
early October. (He was there serving as the American ambassador to Switzerland, a kind of 
"safe house" post he had been appointed to during an especially troublesome period of 
"communist" hunting in the U.S. Department of State.) In October Lucile journeyed to 
Rome where she saw Teilhard briefly. Then she went on to Ethiopia since, as an artist, she 
was interested in experiencing its much heralded color, light, and beauty . 

Roma, October the 7th, 1948 

Dear L., 

These few lines to tell you that I have arrived easily and safely here, last 
Sunday, at midnight! — I am located a few hundred meters from la place St. 
Pierre, — at the very fringe of the Vatican! - Got a very charming welcome. But 
ifs too early for having any definite prospects concerning my affairs. — Your let- 
ter from Berne reached me in Paris just before my departure. Thank you for every- 
thing! -— Wien you are here, let me know. The simplest thing, to start, should be 
that you call here some day when going to visit St. Peter (better in the morning, 
— f.i. after 10 a.m. and before noon) and ask for me: they are little reception 
rooms downstairs (like in Rue Monsieur), — and, in addition, good elevators 
(like at "America"). 

Have a good time in Berne! THEIR 

Yours as 


Yours as ever l£mRS 

Roma, Thursday, ? octobre '48 

My dear L, 

This afternoon I must be back here, at 4 p.m., to meet an influential col- 
league. — And tomorrow I may have to stay here, more or less the whole day, 
waiting for possible developments. 

The best is perhaps that you should pass here tomorrow morning, 
between 10M and 11. And then I might perhaps go to the Flora at 4 p.m., if I am 

Would you kindly make sure at the desk of your hotel that the Paris train 
(via Simplon) is still leaving at 7 aJtL? You could tell me, tomorrow morning. 



If you don't come tomorrow morning I will wait for you here (as much as I can) 
in the afternoon, after 3 p.m. 

15 Rue Monsieur 
Paris, Nov. 10, 1948 


Just received your sweet letter of Nov. 6. Thank you so much for express- 
ing so well what we can do for each other. Yes, now, let us look only ahead, — 
with just this precious memory, as a base and a comfort, of the "Peking's years". 
To be able to adapt oneself to new circumstances, without dwelling in the past; 
and also, as we told, to understand that any kind of existence, if imposed upon us 
by circumstances, may become a unique masterpiece of life and art: those, I think, 
are two most important rules, — mostly if one is fortunate enough to be able to 
see the divine influence, the "golden glow", behind every event and element of this 

Voyage de retour facile, sans inci- The return trip was easy and with- 
dent On m'attendait a la gate, a Paris, out any incidents. Somebody was wait- 
Naturellement, je me suis immediate- ing for me at the station in Paris. 
went trouve pris dans un whirl de gens Naturally, I found myself immediately 
a voir et de choses a faire; et je n'en caught in a "whirl" of people to see and 
suis pas encore sorti. Mais mes dispo- things to do; and I have not caught up 
sitions restent les mimes que quand je yet. But my arrangements are the same 
vous ai quittee a Rome. Tout aufond, je as when I left you in Rome. Deep down 
me sens plus libre de ne pas avoir a me I feel more free not to have to worry 
pri'occuper du College de France: je about the College de France: I remain 
reste davantage "moi-mime", me sem- "myself" more, it seems to me, this 
ble-t-il, de cette faqon. Et, jusqu'h un way. And, up to a point, I believe sev- 
certain point, je crois que plusieurs de eral of my friends feel the same. This 
mes amis pensent de mime. De la sorte, way I preserve better, at the same time, 
je garde mieux, & lafois, ma "physion- my "physiognomy," my independence 






omie", mon independance, et ma ligne 
d' action. Etje ne doute guere qu'avant 
pen de nouvelles formes de travail se 
presentent a moi. 

Les Begotten sont encore id, pour 
quelques jours, lis ont maintenant une 
belle voiture, et Us repartent (comme 
Us sont venus) par route et par 
VEspagne, ce qui leur donne unegrande 
liberte de mouvement. Simone a encore 
trop souvent de petites crises de coeur; 
et Max est toujours tres maigre. Cepen- 
dant Us vont relativement bien; et 
moralement, Us sont exactement les 
mimes; toujours aussi merveilleuse- 
ment doux et "lumineux". lis vous 
envoient tous les deux leurs grandes et 

fideles amities. Je n'ai pas encore 

revu ma cousine: cela ne va pas bien de 
ce cdte; — frere de plus en plus malade, 
et belle-soeur, et soeur aussi! De cefait 
elle est si prise que nous n' avows pas pu 
encore nous rencontrer. 

Hier j'ai traverse le Luxembourg: 
presque toutes les feuilles sont torn- 
bees, maintenant. Et cela m'a fait 
penser au Pincio. Profitez en bien pen- 
dant que vous y etes. Je suis persuade 
que quand vous quitterez Rome vous 
serez toute surprise de constater com- 
bien vous vous y etes insidieusement 
habituee, — et combien aussi, peut- 
etre, ce repos dans un beau cadre vous 
aura spirituellement fortifiee et 

and my line of action. I have no doubt 
that, before long, new forms of work 
present themselves. 

The Begouens are still here for a few 
days. They now have a beautiful car 
and they are travelling back (the way 
they came) by road through Spain, and 
so they are very free to move. Simone 
still has, too often, small heart attacks; 
and Max is still very thin. Nevertheless, 
they are fairly well, and their morale is 
exactly the same; still as wonderfully 
sweet and "luminous." Both send you 
their strong and faithful friendship. — 
— I still have not seen my cousin [Mar- 
guerite Teillard-Chambon]: things are 
not going well for her — her brother is 
ever more ill, also her sister and her sis- 
ter-in-law! Because of this she is so 
occupied that we haven't yet gotten 

I walked through the Luxembourg 
Gardens yesterday: almost all the 
leaves have fallen now. And that 
reminded me of the Pincio. Make the 
most of it while you are there. I am cer- 
tain that when you leave Rome you 
will be very surprised to realize how 
subtly it has grown on you — and how 
much also, perhaps, this rest in beauti- 
ful surroundings will have fortified 
and enlightened you spiritually. 


I stop here, because I have a crowded morning, and a crowded afternoon. 
By the same mail (but as printed matter) I send you the few pages I told you 
(Introduction a la Vie Chretienne). Some paragraphs will seem to you obscure: 
don't insist upon them, — we shall discuss them together. 

God bless you, dearest. We certainly had a few very good days, and, out 
of them, plenty will remain, I am sure. 



Khoda is due here in 3 or 4 days. 

Got a telephone call from Faure. 
He is leaving today by plane to Washington! 
( to meet Eleonore). 

15 Rue Monsieur THEIR 
Paris, 26 Nov. 48 19 «-*» 
Dearest, LETTERS 

Your sweet letter of Nov. 19 came as a great and happy surprise, — not so 239 
complete, of course, since you had already a faint idea of the big trip when I left 
you. Yet, it seems such a fairy tale that you should be by now among the eucalyp- 
tus and under the tropical light of Addis Abbeba! As you know, 1 never went so 
far as that in Ethiopia (I did not go further than the Aouach river, and 1 spent 
most of my time in Harrar). But I saw enough of the country, and precisely at the 
same time of the year, to realize approximately the surroundings and the condi- 
tions of the present life. 1 am sure that this new experience will actively contrib- 
ute in giving you the kind of rejuvenation you are searching for. They are places, 
for us, perhaps, to find better God. 

I am glad you received the few pages I sent you to Rome (together with a 
letter; — I suppose you got it too). I did not write you a second time, because I 
expected to know which were your plans. As far as I am concerned, nothing much 
to say. A few days after my coming back here, I received a letter from Rome which 
did not (and could not) say anything new: very kind, but not very hopeful con- 
cerning the book, which is still under thefinalO) examination, — nor even for the 
lectures in America. I expect some final answer for Xmas. 

Two days ago, I saw Faure, on his way back from Washington. A little 
melancholic, I think. But the question is settled now, by "no", between him and 
Eleonore. He remains really very fond of her; but, in addition to the reinforcement 
of the rules forbiding the diplomats to marry foreign girls, he realized that his 
anti-german feelings had grown so strong during the war that the situation 
should be unconfortable for Eleonore if they should have to live together. And this 
is probably true. Eleonor would like to join UNESCO in order to go to Europe, 
without losing her american citizenship. But I think that she has better first to 
consolidate her position where she happens to be now. In any case, I will ask 
Mme Raphael to watch the possibilities. You know that Julian Huxley retires 
from the general directorship [of UNESCO]: I regret to see him leaving Paris. I 
liked him decidedly. 

Elsie Lyons is here. 1 was so surprised to meet her by chance a few days 
ago! I did not know that her husband was in the ONU, and sent to Varsovie. [War- 
saw] — Rhoda is here up to the 15 of Dec, unless the strikes oblige her to stay 
longer. She left N.Y. three days only before the beginning of the strike, — by the 
last boat, in fact! — The Begouens are still here for a few days, —not very strong 
but still going on, as usually. They leave (as they came) by car, through Spain: that 
makes the journey more pleasant, and they have not to bother for dates and reser- 
vations. — My cousin has a very hard time. On the top of her brother's sickness, a 
large part of the farm in Auvergne (on which the family was living) was acciden- 
tally burnt! She keeps remarkably calm. I admire her faith in God. 

Good bye, dearest. Have a glorious time! and God bless you! 



1955 photograph I Courtesy of Librairie Hachette, Paris. 

The Letters of the Last Years: 
from 1949 to 1955 

Paris, 12 Janvier 49 

I was so pleased to receive your two letters (the first from Addis, the sec- 
ond one from Asmara). Such a dream that you could visit ces lieux de revel As you 
say, I am sure that such an experience will have helped you to throw away a lot 
of dust and to discover a new and deeper yourself You will tell me all that before 
long and I will like to hear everything from you concerning a country which has 
made on me, years ago, a deep impression. 

Id, (unbelievably!), Hen de nouveau Here, (unbelievably!), there is noth- 
dans mes plans d'avenir, depuis que je ing new concerning my plans for the 




vous at quittie a Rome. C'est-a-dire, 
aucune decision encore prise a Rome 
concernant mon livre et les conferences 
d'Amerique. Rien qu'une lettre de mon 
general (il y a une semaine) pour me 
demander, quite kindly, des explica- 
tions sur certaines paroles qu'on me 
pretait dans une conference (la con- 
ference de Versailles, en Septembre), 
sans me dire un seul mot du teste, cad. 
des riponses que j' attends depuis deux 
mois, etplusl J'ai ecrit au Number two 
(un ami) pour avoir des explications; 
et, & tout prix, quelques directions. 
These people, in Rome, are really 
impossible: as if they were living in 
another planet. 

In the meantimes, I keep on going 
along more or less the same path. In 
spite of the flu which disturbs many 
appointments or parties, je continue a 
voir beaucoup de gens fort varies, - 
depuis des professeurs de philosophic 
de la Sorbonne jusqu'a des acteurs ou 
societaires de la Comedie Francaise; et 
je continue aussi a donner un certain 
nombre de private or semi-private 
talks. De cettefacon, la vie passe vite, 
et asset pleine: mais je trouve un peu 
genant de n' avoir pas de job fondamen- 
tal, precis. En fait, mes idees continu- 
ed & avancer; a se preciser, et meme a 
prendre une forme de plus en plus 
"pendtrante" (je ne veux pas dire 
"aggressive": mais cependant, quand 
je parle ou j'ecris, j'ai Vimpression 
d'etre beaucoup plus affirmatif qu' au- 
trefois). Tout pour mot se ramene main- 
tenant ii un si petit nombre de choses 

future since I left you in Rome. That is 
to say no decision has been made in 
Rome about my book and the lectures 
in America. Nothing but a letter from 
my general (a week ago) asking me, 
quite kindly, some explanations con- 
cerning some words I am supposed to 
have said during a lecture (the Ver- 
sailles lecture in September), but not a 
single word about the other matters, 
that is to say about the answers which I 
have been waiting for for two months 
and longer! I wrote to Number two (a 
friend) to have some explanations and, 
by all means, a few directives. These 
people, in Rome, are really impossible: 
as if they were living in another planet. 
In the meantimes, I keep on going 
along more or less the same path. In 
spite of the flu which disturbs many 
appointments or parties, I continue to 
see many very different people, - from 
professors of philosophy at the Sor- 
bonne to actors or members of the 
Comedie Francaise; I also continue giv- 
ing private or semi-private talks. This 
way, life passes quickly and quite fully: 
but I find it a little bothersome not to 
have a basic and specific job. In fact, 
my ideas continue to progress, to 
become clearer, and even to take a 
more and more "penetrating" shape, (I 
do not mean "aggressive": however, 
when I speak or write, I feel I am much 
more assertive than in the past). For me 
everything now comes down to such a 
small number of very simple things: for 
example, to decide if Humanity is still 
on the move upon itself ("e pur se 






tris simples: par exemple decider si 
I'Humanite est encore en mouvement 
sur elle-mime ("e pur se muove". . .), - 
et si ce mouvement est convergent et 
irreversible, - et si, dans ce cas, Chris- 
tianisme etHumanisme ne doiventpas 
se fondre dans une foi rajeunie en un 
Dieu mieux compris. Cest vraiment, 
me semble-t-il, un grand bonheur, un 
bonheur fondamental dans la vie, d' ar- 
rive* a voir clair et passionnement en 
avant (malgre une foule d'obscurites, 
bien stir), - d' avoir quelque chose a 
penser et a dire; - and for this kind of 
fullness or happiness you know how 
much, Lucile, I am indebted to you. 

En somme, je suis apparemment des- 
tine a passer id a Paris tout Vhiver. 
Plus les jours passent, plus les chances 
diminuent que je puisse aller en 
Amerique ce printemps. En tous cas, si 
la moindre chose inattendue arrivait, 
je vous le ferais savoir a Rome. I am 
sure you will enjoy to be again in the 

muove")/ and if this movement is con- 
vergent and irreversible — and if, in 
this case, Christianity and Humanism 
must not melt into a rejunevated faith 
in a better understood God. It is truly, it 
seems to me, a great joy, a fundamental 
happiness in life, to succeed in seeing 
clearly and passionately ahead (in spite 
of a great many osbcurities, of course) 
— to have something to think and to 
say; — and for this kind of fullness or 
happiness you know how much, 
Lucile, I am indebted to you. 

In short, I am apparently fated to 
spend all winter here in Paris. The 
more the days go by, the more the 
chances of my going to America in the 
spring diminishes. In any case if the 
slightest unexpected thing happened, I 
would let you know in Rome. I am sure 
you will enjoy to be again in the Pincio. 


Good bye, dearest. I have to prepare a lecture to be given this evening. 

May this letter reach Rome before you, so that you get it at your arrival 

A very, very good new year to you! 
Max and Simone are leaving Casablanca the 15, by plane, to Guinea! 

15 Rue Monsieur 
Paris, 4 Fevrier, 1949 


Excuse me not to have answered quicker your dear letter ofjan.26. 1 was 
so glad to hear about your beautiful trip and to know that you were safely back 
to old Rome! And I was to answer you immediately. And then a lot of small 
things came across, -including a semi-private lecture (which I decided to write 
down, as an article), and an answer to an "enquete" by UNESCO, etc. Et les jours 
ont passe. 

Since my last letter, sent to Rome, nothing much new, except a letter from 
my General (arrived this morning), — a far from being satisfactory letter. Practi- 
cally "No", to everything, except for an extremely slight chance left to the book. 
Everything was "gate" (at some extent) by an infortunate and extremely unwise 
(and incorrect) report made in Osservatore Romano (December) on the Versailles 
meeting of last September where I was asked to talk. The whole thing is perfectly 
stupid. But in Rome they are much less concerned with facts than with the 

"impressions" resulting of the facts. And the Osservatore's chronicle is more THEIR 
important for them than anything I may have really told. Well that's that Noth- 19 *9-55 
ing to do as far as the lectures in America are concerned. No printing of the Milieu 
Divin. And I am suggested to refrain, of course, from talking or writing except 243 
about pure Science (?). — Don't worry. I am perfectly calm, because I know that 
"victory" is already mine. Simply I will have to keep on working almost "under- 
ground" (as before), — with this good result perhaps that I shall be obliged to 
concentrate and tofocuss still more the points on which I feel that I am right 
Obviously, the whole matter, "the heart of the matter", is that (just as in the old 
times of Galileo) I (and many others with me) we perceive that not only Earth, 
but Mankind, is in full motion, — whereas the other ones (and more specially the 
people at the head of the Church) do not see the movement No possible agreement 
on such point: one of the two groups has to disappear. And in the meantimes I feel 
just as deeply as before, that the very motion of Mankind which I perceive is 
towards the Christ who is in the Church; — so that I can not (en vertu de ma 
position spirituelle meme) fight the Church or leave it! A very curious situation. 

Autrement, tout va bien. Je prepare, Otherwise, all is well. I am prepar- 
pour Mars, cinq courses (labelled as ing, for March, five lectures (labeled as 
scientific) en Sorbonne. And I keep see- scientific) at the Sorbonne. And I am 
ing and addressing a good number of seeing and addressing a good number 
people, so pathetically anxious to find of people, so pathetically anxious to 
spiritual light and freedom. Cela con- find spiritual light and freedom. That 
sole de bien des choses. No prospect of consoles me in many ways. No pros- 
any journey abroad. So you will pect of any journey abroad. So you will 
always find me here when you decide always find me here when you decide 
to come north. En attendant profitez to come north. Meanwhile make the 
bien de Rome:je ne suis pas etonne que most of Rome: I am not surprised that 
vous ayezfini par vous sentir seduite. you finally have been won over. 

J'arrite id pour que cettelettre parte I stop here so that this letter can 
ce soir. A bientdt d'autres nouvelles. I leave tonight. I will write soon. I feel 
feel stronger, having you. stronger, having you. 

God bless you! 

yours as ever 


The Bardac's have left a week ago for Peking! 

IS Rue Monsieur 


Excuse and pardon me for not having answered earlier your two precious 
letters ofFebr. 13 and 15. In fact I have been rather busy the last fortnight, prepar- 
ing a series of five lectures on Man (structure and evolutionary trends of the 
human group), — the first one was delivered yesterday with a sufficient success, 
in spite of the fact that I am precisely experiencing a little attack of flu. The next 
one will be next Friday, — and so on, from Friday to Friday. And that keeps one 
rather busy to be ready for the next time. I do not know what is going to come out 





of this effort. Perhaps nothing else but the advanced outline of a possible book. In 
any case I felt that I had to do something to prove myself and to people around 
that I am still alive. 

Vous ites infiniment gentille de 
prendre aussi a coeur mes affaires 
"romaines."* Croiriez-vous, a ce pro- 
pos, que j'ai appris, de bonne source, 
qu'une des raisons de la vivacite de 
VOsservatore Romano en la circon- 
stance tient au fait que le parti "con- 
servateur" avait ete inquiet de Vespece 
defaveur, rencontree (ou mime d'influ- 
ence prise) par moi a Rome en Octobre? 
On a voulu neutraliser Veffet, tout sim- 
plement, a la premiere occasion venue. 
- Ceci prouverait que la situation, au 
fond, n'est pas si mauvaise. Toute la 
question est d'etre en possession du 
"feu". Celui qui aura le feu, c'est celui 
qui enflammera la Terre. 

Or, sur ce point d"' avoir le feu", je 
me sens toujours plus tranquille, — et 
par consequent fondamentalement heu- 

You are infinitely kind to take so 
much to heart my "Roman" affairs." 
Would you believe, concerning (his mat- 
ter, that I learnt from a reliable source 
that one of the reasons for the sharpness 
of the Osservatore Romano in these cir- 
cumstances comes from the fact that the 
"conservative" party had been worried 
by the kind of interest I encountered (or 
even by the kind of influence I had) in 
Rome in October? They wanted quite 
simply to neutralize the effect at the first 
opportunity. This would prove that the 
situation is not really so bad. The whole 
point is to be in possession of the "fire." 
The one who has the fire is the one who 
will inflame the Earth. 

Still, on this point of "having the 
fire/' I feel always more peaceful — 
and as a consequence fundamentally 


When you are here, I will explain you once more how I see things, — in a 
still better focussed way since I went to Rome. 

Besides, — and except for the lectures — life is going on pretty much the 
same. A kind of routine, with a few extras. I did not see Leroy this week; but I 
hope to meet him tomorrow. Last Sunday, we met for a cocktail at the house of 
the pretty mother of Laurette Dorget. Mostly extremely dignified people (ex- 
ambassadeurs, chefs de Service aux Ministeres, directeur de la Revue de Deux 
Mondesxtc); but also a few more vivacious elements, including my friend Gri- 
aule who claims to have uncovered some unfathomable wisdom (well buried, I 
must say!) in a tribe, along the Niger. — Dorget et Dorgette ont du quitter 
Moscou le 22, on leave. lis sont en ce moment en Suisse, — et viendront a Paris 
vers le milieu de Mars. 

Good bye, dearest. Excuse me for being a bit short: but 1 want this letter 
to be sent today (Saturday evening) so that you should not think that something 
is going wrong, avec tout ce silence. I am so happy to hear that you feel more set- 
tled internally, - and still more in a creative mood. No better index for the spiri- 
tual life! 

Many regards to the Vincents. 

And God bless you! 

*I will explain you better, in a conversation, in which way only I can usefully, or 
logically, fight in the present conditions. 

Teilhard wrote the above as a footnote in his letter to Lucile who was still in Switzerland. 

After her visit with the John Carter Vincents in Switzerland, Lucile traveled back to Paris THEIR 
with Betty Vincent. They visited Teilhard who gave them an introduction to a Christian 1949-55 
Dior showing. LETTERS 


Paris, 15, rue Monsieur (T) 
Segur 74-77 


Pert Teilhard de Chardin 

prie M'sieu Christian Dior 

de bien accueillir deux de mes amies americaines. 

Mrs. John Carter Vincent (femme de ministre d'amerique a' Berne) 

etMrs. Lucile Swan (sculpteur). 

Teilhard, S.J. 

11 Mai '49 


Ces quelques lignes, non pas d* adieu, 
mais de "au revoir", pour vous redire 
combien, a moi aussi, cette derniere 
annee a ete bienfaisante, dans la 
mesure ou, soit id, soit a Rome (qui edt 
dit que nous nous retrouverions la!), 
nous avons pu constater que les heures 
de Peking etaient toujours bien 
vivantes, - et que nous pouvons tou- 
jours compter Vun sur Vautre pour 
"couronner" notre vie. 

Commeje vous Vai dit, aussi, Vave- 
nir, en avant de moi, est en ce moment 
particulierement vague, - ou mime 
obscur. Ce queje continue a voir claire- 
ment, du moins, c'est que, de plus en 
plus, je dots me vouer a V appro- 
fondissement et A la propagation de 
Vesp&ce de foi dont la structure s'est 
pricisee pour moi en Chine, - en 
quelque manure sous vos yeux. 

Je compte toujours sur vous pour 
m' aider de toutes faqons (par votre 
affection, vos encouragements, et dans 
une certaine mesure votre collabora- 
tion) A pousser jusqu'au bout cet effort 
qui me demande, je le sens, de me cher- 
cher moi-meme de moins en moins, et le 
Divin Amour de plus en plus. - Et en 
retour, vous savez quels voeux je fais 

15 Rue Monsieur 

These few lines, not of farewell, but 
of "au revoir" to tell you once more 
how much this year has been beneficial 
also to me, insofar as we, here as well 
as in Rome (who could have said we 
would find each other again there), we 
realized that the Peking hours were still 
very much alive, and that we can 
always count on one another to 
"crown" our lives. 

As I told you also the future ahead 
of me is at the moment particularly 
vague — or even obscure. What I con- 
tinue to see clearly, at least, is that I 
must devote myself more and more to 
the deepening and the propagation of 
the kind of faith whose structure 
became very clear to me in China — 
under your eyes, so to speak. 

I still count on you to help me in 
many ways (by your affection, your 
encouragements and, in a certain mea- 
sure, your collaboration) to pursue to 
the end this effort which I feel requires 
that I search myself less and less and 
Divine Love more and more. And, in 
return, you know all the wishes I make 
for your blossoming and your peace - 

TEILHARD pour voire epanouissement et votre in the Greatest and the most Beautiful 
&LUC1LE p a ix f m # ans \ e p\ U s Grand et le plus of all. 
CORRESPOND Beauauetout 

Bon voyage, dearest, and God bless you for everything! 


As ever and for ever 

Lucile went in early July to England to visit Sidney Cooper, a Peking friend. 



Well received, yesterday your sweet letter of July 7. Two things are par- 
ticularly true in your lines: the first one, that between us love is better: and the 
second one that they are some things which you can give me, alone . . . 

Appuyes sur ces deux constatations 
solides, je pense, as you say, que tout ce 
qu'il nous reste a faire c f est d'avancer 
de plus en plus resolument et avec tou- 
jours plus de confiance vers le grand 
Centre lumineux vers lequel notre vie 
consiste a converger. — Merci encore 
pour tout ce que vous m'avez dome au 
cows de ces mois Paris-Rome-Paris! 

Je vous avais encore telephone mer- 
credi matin, vers lOh. a Vhotel: mais 
c'est le moment ou vous etiez au Lux- 

Rien de bien nouveau depuis ces 
derniers jours. Je continue a me sentir 
plus fort; et je mine sensiblement la 
mime vie. Ma conference No. 4 est 
presquefinie (typed). D'ici peu, je vais 
commencer le No. 5. — Vu hier Movius; 
je dois dejefiner avec lui demain. II est 
id avec safemme et ses deux enfants! 

En somme tout va normalement. Je 
suis de plus en plus decide a alter 
passer chez mon frere quelques 
semaines, a partir du 10 ou 15 aout. 
Have a good time in England! 

yours as ever 


Relying on these two sound state- 
ments I think, as you say, all that 
remains for us to do is to go forward 
more and more steadfastly and with 
always more confidence, toward the 
great luminous Center toward which 
our life consists in converging. — 
Thank you again for all you gave me 
during these months Paris-Rome-Paris! 

I had phoned you again at the hotel 
Wednesday morning around 10 
o'clock: but you were at the Luxem- 
bourg at that time. 

Nothing very new these past few 
days. I continue to feel stronger, and I 
lead more or less the same life. My lec- 
ture No. 4 is almost finished (typed). 
Very soon I will start on No. 5. 1 saw 
Movius yesterday; I am supposed to 
have lunch with him tomorrow. He is 
here with his wife and two children. 

All in all everything is quite normal. 
I am more and more decided to go and 
spend a few weeks at my brother's, 
leaving on the 10th or 15th of August 

July 18 -49 

Dearest - 

Your precious letter of July 11 makes me very happy -lam so glad that you are 
getting stronger every day and that the writing is progressing - 

You are a very fortunate person to have been given this understanding of the THEIR 
Evolution of the World and of course the writing is one of your ways of sharing it with 1949 " 55 
others. To so many you have given a renewal of Faith —a real and vital love of the Creator 
and his Creation and shown them that there is a purpose to it all and that they can help in 247 
the achievement of this purpose. With this realization I am sure you can never again have 
that "empty" feeling, and I like so much what you say in your first letter "de me chercher 
moi-meme de moins en moins, et le Divin Amour de plus en plus" for in that way you will 
surely get more Light and reach more surely the Truth you have seen much and I am sure 
you will see more, and more clearly — isn't that a sort of miracle? Sometimes, just now, it 
is difficult to see how these thoughts are going to reach the many who are longing for them 
— but I am sure that eventually the way will come. And I have been so fortunate to have 
been with you so much and have shared these thoughts and seen them grow — you must 
know how very much they have meant to me in the forming of my beliefs and Faith, and I 
loved our recent times together — the talks and the walks, in France and in Rome — and 
the sharing of beautiful things especially the trees, and the sharing of small things too, 
such as your tea — all this is what makes our friendship so sweet. I miss it all very, much 
but not in a sad way for I have it always with me and that makes me happy and sure of the 

I find London very drab and dirty in comparison with Paris -almost a bit depress- 
ing - But I am having a very good time here -we have had 4 or 5 lovely days in the country 
and I've been about a good bit in town - There are three other ladies in the house and one 
especially has been a great pleasure to me - we like the same kind of thing and have gone 
about together and Sydney has been very nice - and it is so pleasant to have a lovely home 
to come back to -So I am very glad to have come here. But also I shall be glad to be on my 
way — now that I have left you in Paris — I want to get settled and working again. I do 
not know just what the winter will bring, but I feel sure that it will be good and creative. 

At the end of July 1949, Lucile sailed from London to New York where she stayed until she 
left for India in November. Letters flowed between them — his from Paris until mid 1951, 
hers from New York and India, then from Siam, Rome, England; and New York again, dur- 
ing those same two years. 


Well received your two sweet and long letters of London (just before your 
departure) and from the boat (July 27). And I hope that now you are in the quiet- 
ness of Connecticut, — calmly busy with your experiences of last year and new 
plans for new work. You are right: creation is the ultimate incentive of any activ- 
ity, — for the creature as well as for the Creator of the world; but, at the same 
time, creation is for union and through union. There is plenty to reflect and to 
think in this mysterious connection between the highest forms of spiritual activ- 
ity: the one (to create) being mostly a question of intelligence, and the other one 
(to unite) being finally a matter of love . . . 

Depuis ma derniere lettre (envoyee a Since my last letter (sent to London) 
Londres) Hen de bien nouveau dans nothing really new in my life here, 
mon existence id, - sauf que j'ai ter- except that I completed this morning 
mind ce matin la redaction et mime the drafting and I even started the typ- 
commence le typing de ma lecture No. 5 ing of my lecture No. 5 (it is a little 


TEIWARD (elle est un peu plus longue que les 
& LUCILE autres, comme il convient pour la dern- 
CORRESPOND jfa f et j e la crois bonne). II ne me rest- 
era plus, quand j'aurai fini le travail 
fastidieux du recopiage, qu'a revoir et 
polir un peu les lecons (ou chapitres) 1 
et 2. J'aurai tout le temps de lefaire en 
Auvergne, chez mon frlre, ou je pense 
toujours aller entre le IS aout et le 15 
septembre. Comme projet ulterieur de 
travail, je n'ai encore que celui de redi- 
ger un rapport d'une dizaine de pages 
(to be sent to Rome) ou j'essaierai une 
fois de plus d'attirer Vattention de 
Vautorite sur ce qui, a mon avis, se 
passe dans le monde en ce moment: 
apparition d'une esperance nouvelle en 
I'Homme, en dehors de laquelle la foi 
chretienne perd sa puissance de conta- 
gion, de consolation et de defense con- 
tre les humanismes nouveaux (Marx- 
isme, pour commencer). Tout ce que je 
pense dire se resume dans ces trois 
phrases que je compte placer en "exer- 
gue" rapport: 

"Les uns (les "vieux" Chretiens) dis- 
ent: attendons le retour du Christ". Les 
autres (les marxistes) repondent: 
Achevons le Monde. Les troisiemes (les 
neo-catholiques) pensent: Pour que le 
Christ puisse revenir, achevons la 

A propos de marxistes, la condam- 
nation du communisme ne semble pas 
faire en France autant d'effet qu'en 
Italie par exemple. Je comprends Vop- 
portunite politique du geste; mais je 
regrette que Rome, comme d'habitude, 
n' ait pas fait plus claire la distinction 
entre une certaine forme stalinienne de 
communisme, effectivement material- 
iste et athee, et les aspirations commu- 
nistes, lesquel les sont parfaitement et 
hautement christianisables. 

lei, il continue a faire tres chaud et a 
ne pas pleuvoir. Je n'en souffre pas; 
mais I'eau manque serieusement dans 
les campagnes. Presque tout le monde a 
quitte ou va quitter Paris, y compris 
Rhoda (pour Vile de Brehat, chez Ida). 

longer than the others, as it should be 
for the last one, and I believe it is good. 
When I have finished the tedious work 
of copying it, I'll only have to check 
and polish a little the lessons (or chap- 
ters) 1 and 2. I'll have lots of time to do 
this in Auvergne at my brother's where 
I am still thinking of going between 
August 15 and September 15. As to my 
plans for future work, I only have that 
of writing a report of about ten pages 
(to be sent to Rome) in which I'll try 
once again to draw the attention of 
authority on what in my opinion is 
going on in the world at the moment: 
the emergence of a new Hope in Man 
outside of which the Christian faith 
loses its power of contagion, of conso- 
lation and of defense against the new 
humanisms (Marxism to start with). All 
that I want to say can be summed up in 
these three sentences which I intend to 
place "in the exergue" of the report: 

"Some (the "old" Christians) say: let 
us wait for the return of Christ. Others 
(the Marxists) reply: let us complete the 
World. A third group (the neo-Catho- 
lics) think: so that Christ may come 
back, let us complete the Earth." 

On the subject of Marxists, the con- 
demnation of Communism doesn't 
seem to have as much effect in France 
as in Italy, for instance. I understand 
the political advisability of the gesture; 
but I regret that Rome, as usual, didn't 
make clearer the distinction between a 
certain Stalinist form of communism, 
effectively materialistic and atheistic, 
and the communist aspirations, which 
can be perfectly and highly christian- 

Here it is still very hot and there is 
no rain. It doesn't bother me but there 
is a serious lack of water in the coun- 
tryside. Almost everybody has left or is 
about to leave Paris, including Rhoda 
(who is going to Ida's on the island of 

La semaine derniere, on m'a mene, pres 
de Montparnasse, visiter le musee 
Bourdelle, recemment ouvert (sur I 'em- 
placement mime de V atelier de Bour- 
delle). Surtout des repliques, mais un 
bien bel art. Dommage que Bourdelle 
ait eu tellement a travailler sur com- 
mandes, au lieu de pouvoir suivre son 
inspiration (comme dans le Centaure 
ou Beethoven). Et dommage aussi que 
je n'aie pas su Vouverture du musee 
quand vous etiez ici: on aurait visite 
ensemble. Les honneurs du musee 
m'ont etc f aits par la deuxiime femme 
de Bourdelle, une Grecque encore rela- 

Br£hat). Last week, I was taken to visit 
the recently opened Bourdelle Museum 
near Montparnasse (on the very site of 
Bourdelle's studio). Most are replicas, 
but very beautiful art. What a pity that 
Bourdelle had to work so much on 
commission rather than being able to 
follow his own inspiration (as in the 
Centaurus and Beethoven). And it is a 
pity also that I did not know the 
museum was opened when you were 
here! We could have gone there 
together. Bourdelle's second wife, her- 
self a Greek woman still fairly young, 
did me the honors of the museum. 


Good bye,dearest, — and God bless you, — and bring us together as soon 
as possible, somewhere, anywhere! 

As ever, 


You can address your letters here. They will be forwarded if I am away. 

Auvergne, 5 sept. 49 


Just received today your letter of Sept. 1, and yesterday your precedent 
letter (Aug. 19) with the clippings (I enjoyed reading them). In fact I am so sorry 
to have been silent so long — for no good reasons: not sure of your address, lazy 
in the country, busy finishing some work, etc. 

En tous cas, I loved very much what you wrote me. And I am so thrilled 
by the idea that you might go to India next winter. Yes, I am sure: Artistically and 
spiritually you would learn a lot down there, — if only to appreciate more defi- 
nitely, and at the same time, the need of the West on the East, but also the superi- 
ority of the West on the East . . . If you can manage it, take this new trip, by all 

Ce m'est une joie que vous ayez cette 
nouvelle chance. 

En ce qui me concerne, Hen de bien 
nouveau. Je suis ici, chez mon frhre, en 
pleine campagne, depuis le 11 aout; et 
je pense rentrer a Paris vers le IS, - a 
temps, par consequent pour ne pas 
manquer Elionore! Je serai si heureux 
de la revoir, etje voudrais tant que son 
avenir s'iclaircisse, a la suite de ce 
voyage en Europe. - Malgre la red- 
outable secheresse, moins grande 

It delights me that you have this 
new opportunity. 

As far as I am concerned, nothing 
really new. I am here at my brother's 
where it is completely rural, since the 
11th of August; and I think I will go 
back to Paris around the 15th so as not 
to miss El£onore! I will be so happy to 
see her again, and I hope so much her 
future becomes clearer after this trip to 
Europe. In spite of the terrible drought, 
not quite as bad for the past ten days, 









depuis dix jours, le sejour id m'aura 
beaucoup repose. Maison extremement 
calme, egayee par tnon nouveau petit 
neveu (six months oldl), un gros pou- 
pon qui passe son temps a rire et a gig- 
oter dans son berceau. Et puis 
VAuvergne natale m'a repris plus pro- 
fondement que je n'aurais cm. I posi- 
tively enjoy looking at the volcanoes 
skyline, from my window, — chiefly at 
sunset, when everything is red and 

Dans ce grand calme, j'ai pu finale- 
ment travailler beaucoup, - un peu 
comme a St. Germain, de douce mhn- 
oire (you remember the terrace?). Main- 
tenant mes Cinq Conferences sont 
complement finies. Elles feraient un 
assez bon petit livre. line fois de plus, 
je tacherai de lui faire franchir les cen- 
sures; et cette fois je ne vois pas trop 
(quoique je dise les mimes choses) sur 
quoi la censure pourrait trouver a mor- 
dre: les apparences sont si innocem- 
tnent scientifiques! 

Entre temps, je me suis decide a faire 
tirer a deux cents exemplaires (au sten- 
cil) le "Phenomene Humain"; defini- 
tivement arrete a Rome. Comme cela, 
le livre pourra passer a quelques amis, 
et attendre des jours plus favorables. 
Naturellement you will receive a copy. 
The work is supposed to be done before 
October 15. Pas encore de nouvelles 
concernant I'impression de V article que 
j'ai ecrit a St. Germain ce printemps. 
Mais cela ne saurait tarder, etje garde 
bon espoir. 

Good bye, dearest. Je dois profiter, 
pour envoyer cette lettre, d'une occa- 
sion, quelqu'un allant a la grande ville 
de Clermont. -]e vous recrirai de Paris. 
Pour etre sincere, je ne vois pas bien ce 
que va etre pour moi cette nouvelle 
annee. Rien de bien net, ni de bien exci- 
tant en vue. Mais j'imagine que le 
chemin sefera et s'illuminera au jour le 
jour, — a la grace de Dieu. Au fond, le 
seul interet de {'existence est de vivre 
de plus en plus intensement par le 

my stay here will have been most rest- 
ful. The house is extremely quiet, 
brightened by my new little nephew 
(six months old!) a chubby baby who 
spends his time laughing and wrig- 
gling about in his crib. And then, my 
native Auvergne has got hold of me 
again, more profoundly than I would 
have thought. I positively enjoy look- 
ing at the volcanoes skyline, from my 
window, chiefly at sunset when every- 
thing is red and gold. 

In this complete peacefulness, I was 
finally able to work a lot, a little like at 
Saint-Germain of sweet memory (you 
remember the terrace?). Now my five 
lectures are completely finished. They 
could make a fairly good small book. 
Once again, I'll try to get it past the cen- 
sors and this time I really don't see 
(although I say the same thing) what 
the censor could find to sink his teeth 
into: the appearance is so innocently 

Meanwhile, I have decided to have 
200 (stenciled) copies made of the The 
Phenomenon of Man, that was defini- 
tively held up by Rome. That way, I 
will be able to give this book to a few 
friends and wait for more favorable 
days. Naturally you will receive a copy. 
The work is supposed to be done 
before October 15. 1 still have no news 
concerning the printing of the article I 
wrote in Saint-Germain this Spring. But 
it will not take much longer, and I am 

Good bye, dearest. I must take 
advantage of an opportunity to send 
this letter: someone going to the large 
town of Clermont. I will write you 
again from Paris. To be sincere, I really 
cannot see clearly what this new year 
will bring to me. Nothing very clear 
nor very exciting in sight. But I imagine 
that the way will be lighted day by day 
— with the grace of God. Basically, the 
only thing that matters in our existence 
is to live more and more intensely from 

Mm> Et cela c'est possible toujours the inside . And this is possible always THEIR 
etpartout and everywhere. 1949-55 




Merci pour voire chere lettre du 26 Sept, a laquelle j'aurais du repondre 

d&ja, depute longtemps. I am extremely glad that your Indian trip's plan seems to 

hold strong: I am so sure that it will achieve the pacifying work of last year, and 

enrich you a lot, spiritually and artistically. 

Tenez-moi au courant de ce que vous Keep me current on what you are 

faites et de ce que vous pensez: cela doing and what you are thinking: that 

will help me to live more actively 
myself. As far as I am concerned, I 
don't know if, according to your 
expression, "I am setting out on the 
greatest adventure of my life". What is 
certain is that I have the impression 
that the few important lines of my 
vision of the World (whatever they are 
worth.) are taking on an ever growing 
simplicity and intensity. Presently they 
have a tendency to converge on two 
main foci, — which in fact are the same 
focus, focussed at two different depths. 
The first (more objective and scientific) 
is the existence ahead of us of what I 
now call an "ultra-human" represent- 
ing the biological prolongation of 
human evolution. And the second one 
(more "mystical") is the enveloping 
and penetrating presence, everywhere 
around us, of what I like to call "the 
Christie Energy/' the superior and ulti- 
mate form of all the energies from 
which the arrangement of the Universe 
around us emerges. In fact, I think I 
will pursue simultaneously the study 
of these two "realities" in the course of 
this year. The Ultra-human would be 
the subject of "seminars" which I more 
and more intend to teach this winter at 
the Institute of Human Paleontology; 
and "the Christie Energy" would be the 
subject of my next paper: something 
like resumption twenty years later, of 
The Divine Milieu . At the moment I am 
sustained in this effort by a certain 
number of encouraging signs. A week 
ago I gave a lecture (on the Ultra- 


m' aider a a vivre plus activement moi- 
meme. En ce qui me concerne, je ne sais 
si, suivant voire expression, "J am set- 
ting for the greatest adventure of my 
life" ...Ce qui est sur, c'est que je Yai 
Vimpression que les quelques lignes 
majeures de ma vision du Monde (quoi 
qu'elles vaillent . . .) prennent une sim- 
plicity et une intensiti encore grandis- 
santes. Presentement, elles tendent a se 
concentrer sur deux foyers principaux, 

— qui ne sont au fond que le mime 
foyer, focussed at two different depths. 
Le premier (plus objectif et scienti- 
fique) est V existence, en avant de nous, 
de ce que j'appelle maintenant un 
"Mltra-humain" , representant la pro- 
longation biologique de devolution 
humaine. Et le second (plus "mys- 
tique") est la presence enveloppante et 
penetrante, partout autour de nous, de 
ce que j'aime a appeler "L'Energie 
Chrisiique", forme superieure et ultime 
de toutes les energies d'ou emerge V ar- 
rangement de VUniver autour de nous. 

— En fait, je pense pousser simultane- 
ment V etude de ces deux "realites", au 
cours de cette annee. L'Ultra-humain 
serait le sujet des "seminaires" que je 
compte de plus en plus donner cet hiver 
aVlnstitut de Paleontologie Humaine; 
et l'"Energie Christique" serait le sujet 
of my next paper: quelque chose comme 
la reprise; a vingt ans de distance, du 
"Milieu Divin". — En ce moment, je 
suis soutenu dans cet effort par un cer- 
tain nombre d' indices encourageants. II 
y a une semaine, j'ai donne une con- 


TElUiARD ference (sur VUltra-humain et ses deux humain and its two consequences: a 
& LUCILE consequences: un neo-humanisme et un neo-humanism and a neo-Christianity) 
CORRESPOND nouveau . c hristianisme) aux 500 grands to 500 students in our preparatory 
eltves de notre ecole preparatoire aux school of Ste. Genevifcve for the 
Grandes Ecoles de Ste Genevieve Grandes Ecoles (Leroy is teaching 
(Leroy is teaching there), etj'ai ete tres there) and the students showed great 
ecoute. Par ailleurs, mon article sur "\e interest. Otherwise, my article on "the 
nouveau cos de Galilee", ecrit a St Ger- new case of Galileo" (written in Saint- 
main ce printemps) va sortir sous peu Germain this spring) will soon be pub- 
dans une revue scientifique (I will send lished in a scientific review (I will send 
it to you, of course, avec quelques it to you, of course, with a few stenciled 
pages stencilees envoyees derniere- pages recently sent to Rome . . .). 

Etpuis there is the shadow of a chance that my Five lectures on Man will 
be accepted and printed here without any recours a Rome. I will let you know. 
Just now, my text is in the course of being re-typed. 

Et Eleonore est id! toute semillante. I was so pleased to see her, and we 
talked of you. I am going to have lunch with her today at the small restaurant au 
coin de la rue Barbet de Jouy. She has a very slight hope to join UNESCO (in a 
newly open Section for Germany), — and (!) she has been active in helping the 
fiancailles(?) ofFaure with a Dutch girl. She will explain you; I did not under- 
stand exactly the case, so far. She bought (first gesture in reaching Paris) a per- 
fectly cute little hat; and she seems entirely in her own element. De son cote, 
Rhoda is perfectly nice and understanding. By now she has found (for 4 months) a 
very nice appartment near St Augustin. And Noel seems quite satisfied at the 
american school. — Leroy is decidedly going to America (with a fellowship) for a 
year: first to Chicago University. He will leave at Xmas. And I shall miss him. 
My friend Jouve is away for a month; to rest. 

Good bye, dearest. Hope everything is OK. with you. God bless you! 

yours, as ever. 

Paris, November 14. '49 


My type-writer being under repair, I have to come back to handwriting. 
— So exciting to think that this letter is going to reach you in Egypt (in fact, I did 
not see Alexandria since 1 left it in 1908, on my way to Theology in England!) 
Think of me when you pass through the Suez Canal, — an old friend, — shall 1 see 
it ever again? 1 think it is a great luck for you to go back to the East. Upon the 
East I do not rely much, as you know, as far as the world's vision is concerned. 
But I still believe (because I have experienced it) in its power of rejuvenation and 
excitation on our western minds. I am sure you are going to a big experience 
which will make you more alive, and consequently closer of what is divine in the 

Here, things are going on quietly. I feel quite alive and awake spiritually 
(as usually in autumn), — and my "ideas" are growing once more, — although 
always along the same essential lines. D'Ouince has read the new book (the five 


lectures), and is quite enthusiastic, — except for the two(l) last pages, which THEIR 
make him a little scared of Rome (completement a tort, I think). This week he |^^ 
will discuss the case with a great theologian friend (Henri de Lubac) who is com" 
ing here; and, if his scruples are persisting, he will send, himself, the manuscript 253 
to Rome with a strong letter. — In fact, I do not see how the book could be 
decently sent to press without letting Rome know it: and then, obviously, Rome 
will ask for the text. So it is perhaps better to jump in the cold water imme- 
diately — anyway. My article on the "New Problem of Galileo" is out, and I have 
a lot of separates, already spreading everywhere. People seem to find it particu- 
larly good (but I suspect that in Rome they will not like it so much, — although 
they can say nothing against it). — My present effort is more and more concen- 
trating on a better analyse of the "ultra-humain" (existence, nature and growth): 
right at this point, I am convinced, hides the source of every modern conflict and 
hope; because such an "ultra-humain" cannot be accepted (under the pressure of 
facts) without accepting, ipso facto r a definite view of the true relationship 
between Spirit and Matter, — and also a definite "faith" in the future of Man. — 
— At the end of this week I shall have to develop this idea before a selected group 
of big business-men at the Royaumont Abbaye, near Paris (for two days). 

Otherwise, nothing much new (except that I am publishing an "appar- 
ently" harmless article in the next number ofLes Etudes, on "La Vision du Passe: 
ce qu'elle nous apporte, et ce qu'elle nous ote" — together with a less harmless 
recension of the Osborn's book ("Our plundered Plane t"), — and a still less harm- 
less dbut anonymous) page on a Symposium (on Evolution) recently held in Paris 

So, as you know probably, Eleonore is in Italy (or already in Stuttgart?..): 
not much hope for her at the UNESCO, - but some faint hope, still; - unless she 
can get something at the Litter. Digest. — Frangoise Raphael left for Algeria a 
fortnight ago: she will be back after ten days. Max and Simone were here for a 
month, very busy. They finally settled in a free room in my cousine's appartment, 
rue de Fleurus. Simone is remarkably better (except for the legs, — she can not 
walk but so slowlyl), — and Max has somewhat improved his health in Europe. 
But he is so thinl Still he keeps enthusiastic and alive (always some new 
projects), — in spite of serious financial troubles (la rose did not sell well this 
year, — but le jasmin!). They are leaving this week, unfortunately, — by car, 
through Portugal. They send you their love. — Rhoda and Noel seem perfectly 
pleased by their parisian life, - so much more so that Noel seems to be a great suc- 
cess at the American School. — Last Saturday I was invited (at the place of my 
friend Jouve, — still in the South) to a cocktail given in the Ritz, by Clare 
[Boothe] Luce (I had met Luce himself in Peking in 1945), on her way back from 
Rome and the Vatican(l). I had the hope to meet there some interesting U.S. citi- 
zens: but nobody, except what I suppose to have been a rather ordinary staff of 
Life and Tune.- — Bosshart is in Zurich. He left Peking in May, in disgust (in spite 
of several "red" friends, he has practically lost all his investments in Peking and 
Shanghai: could not even go to save anything in his temple in the Hills (where?). - 
Still, he is leaving in December to Hongkong: the call of the East. I think I still 
feel it, in spite of everything. 

TEILHARD Good bye and good luck, dearest! Have a good time and may India 

& LUCILE introduce you deeper to a full consciousness of yourself and of God at the center 
CORRESPOND of the ^ Universe! 


as ever 


IS Rue Monsieur 
Paris, December 14th,1949 


So many thanks for your dear letter of Nov. 28, sent from Genoa! This one 
is to send you my best and deepest wishes and "affection" for Xmas: a Xmas 
without snow and tree for you, —but a Xmas still, that is the annual remem- 
brance that we are a part, all of us, of a same growing and loving whole. The 
great question, of course being to decide what kind of gesture we have to perform, 
each of us, in order to join this divine Whole: dissolution and identification; or on 
the contrary, self-achievement and union through love. As you know, I feel more 
and more convinced that the second way (la "Route de I'Ouest") is the good one; 
and this is not the way traditionally taught in India. Yet India is a warm and 
tense atmosphere for any mystics; and I am sure that you are eventually going to 
feel closer to God (to your God) after this new experience of the East. A few days 
ago I heard, au Musee Guimet, a good lecture (with excellent pictures) of Ella 
Maillart, precisely on India. You know that she spent two years down there (near 
Madras) during the war, in the ashram of a famous guru; and she found there 
"peace", she told me, — if not "love". By the way, in 1935, I spent two days at the 
Cecil Hotel of Delhi, in my way to the Narbada, with Hellmut de Terra. The lady 
keeping the Hotel was a very great friend ofBosshart. Maybe she is still there. I 
liked the place. 

Here, nothing much new. The five Lectures, or rather their fate, is still 
hanging in the air. The chances are that my friend d'Ouince is going to send them 
himself to Rome with a letter urging for publication. In the meantimes, I may 
deliver them at the Unesco: this last point will be decided next week when I have 
a private talk at a dinner with Mr. Torez-Bodet, the present Director of Unesco. 
My article on "La nouvelle Question de Galileo" was rather successful: the sepa- 
rates are spreading very fast (I am keeping one for you, of course). Just now, I am 
thinking of some new Essays: but nothing is actually started. Things have first to 
mature a bit more in my head. Did I tell you that, at the beginning of November, I 
went a VAbbaye de Royaumont, near Paris (a beautiful medieval place, arranged 
most confortably), in order to talk (during two days) with a group of important 
businessmen? An excellent opportunity to develop, before an influential audience, 
my views concerning Vultra-humain and "I'ultra-christianisme". I think they 

The Begouen are still here. The very eve of their departure (a week ago) 
Simonegot a kind of bronchitis, and she is still in bed. 

In fact, ce retard ne nuitpas absolu- In fact, this delay absolutely does no 
ment aux affaires de Max, qui rencontre harm to Max's business, he is meeting 
en ce moment des gens utiles. Mais useful people these days. But it is a nui- 

c 'est un ennui tout de mime. Depuis un sance all the same. For the past month, THEIR 
mots, Us sont installes tous les deux they have both been living in one bed- 19&S5 
dans une chambre, dans Yappartement room in my cousin's apartment. True LETTERS 
mime de ma cousine. Une vraie vie de family life. Very easy for me to go and 
famille. Ttis commode pour alter les see them. 

Last week, Dr. Wong-Wen-Hao appeared in my room: just the same: the 
shadow of a little Chinese in a long coat and a big brown felt hat His wife is in 
Hong Kong, his daughters in Formosa, his son in Shanghai, — and he on the high- 
ways of the world, with a little money for qm year. - And the little Mrs. Moser 
too (did you know her? the daughter of agerman lady, married with a Chinese, 
the maire of Peking during the war). Her mother is sick (cancer) in Peking 
(attended by Loucks, sheltered by Mary Ferguson), her father in jail in Shanghai, 
and her husband is divorcing her. Poor little thing! — Mme de Margerie is marry- 
ing her daughter (Diane) to an Italian prince (Pignatelli). 

- M. Cosme est reintegre dans tous Mr. Cosme has had all his pre-war 
ses droits d'avant guerre; ce qui le rend rights restored: which makes him very 
tout heureux. Je vais rencontrer chez happy. Next week, I will go to their 
eux, la semaine prochaine, les Guil- home to meet the Guillaumes; he is still 
laume, toujours ambassadeurs a Paris, ambassador in Paris. Leroy is definitely 
Leroy va decidement partir pour going to leave for America (Chicago, 
VAmerique (Chicago, first) au debut de first) at the beginning of January. I will 
Janvier. II me manquera. — Les Bardac miss him. The Bardacs are in San Fran- 
sont a San Francisco. cisco. 

VoilH a peu pres toutes les nouvelles. That is about all the news. 

Good bye, dearest. Have a good time, in the glorious East And may a 
still more glorious light rise for you inside! 

En grande affection 


Paris, Jan. 22th, 1950 


I was so happy to receive your long letter of Jan. 3. You must have had 
such a wonderful time on your cargo [freighter]! And now I am sure that you are 
slowly collecting and composing your special brand of honey out of the multiple 
flowers of India. Such a mixture of sweet and bitter, healthy and poisonous vege- 
tation. You will feel your way, and your taste in the jungle. No safer compass or 
better test, I suppose, to find your way and select your "butin" [goal] but to 
appreciate things by their actual or potential content in Love. So much of "pan- 
theism", and so little of love, in India (I think): just because they did not catch, 
there, the "personnalistic" nature of the Universal: the great western Discovery. 
— Anyhow, I am so keen to know what is happening to you, outside, and mostly 

Here, life for me is going on, more or less the same. Physically, I was a bit 
too much "nervous", last month, — for some mysterious reasons, connected with 
health, weather or God knows what Better, now. Gave two semi-private lec- 
tures, since January, — on Man and what can be expected ahead for Man (sur 





VHumain et I'Ultra-humain). Clearly, and at the same time, my ideas are becom- 
ing more and more simple (reduced to their purest essence) and I can express them 
with an almost perfect ease. But the danger is to become "monotonous". 

— Quoi qu'il en soit, je continue a 
avoir Vimpression d'avancer encore in 
the process of focussing and maturing 
what I am obscurely feeling and hunt- 
ing since fifty years: and, in spite of a 
relatively eventless life, that keeps me 
interested and alive. Je prepare douce- 
ment un nouvel Essay (not for publica- 
tion) ou j'essaierai de suivre et decrire 
le processus psychologique suivant 
lequel, - depuis mon enfance -, un sens 
confus de VUnivers et de VUniversel a 
graduellement pris en moi la forme du 
"Milieu Divin" forme par une sorte de 
"centre Christique universel". Pour le 
moment, je rassemble mes souvenirs et 
je tdche de les organiser dans leur suite 
naturelle. La redaction demanderait 
une periode de calme: chez mon frere, 
Vete prochain? 

Le manuscrit des cinq conferences 
est en route pour Rome. Je demande la 
permission d'imprimer; et le P. 
d'Ouince backs me warmly. Cest "fifty 
fifty", comme chances de succes. In the 
meantimes, j'ai fait une preface pour 
un livre (un joli livre) compose sur ma 
soeur cadette (Marguerite) par ses 
amies "Les Malades". 

However that may be, I continue to 
have the impression of still going for- 
ward in the process of focusing and 
maturing what I am obscurely feeling 
and hunting since fifty years: and, in 
spite of a relatively eventless life, that 
keeps me interested and alive. I am 
slowly working on a new Essay (not for 
publication) in which I will try to follow 
and describe the psycholog ical process 
according to which - since my childhood 
- a vague sense of the Universe and of 
the Universal has gradually taken in my 
mind the shape of the "Divine Milieu" 
formed by a kind of "universal Christie 
center." For the moment I gather my 
memories and try to organize them in 
their natural sequence. The writing 
would require a period of quiet: at my 
brother's, next summer? . . . 

The manuscript of the five lectures is 
on its way to Rome. I am asking for 
permission to have it printed; and 
Father d'Ouince backs me warmly. It is 
"fifty fifty", as far as the chances of suc- 
cess are concerned ... In the meantimes 
I wrote a preface for a book (a lovely 
book) written about my younger sister 
(Marguerite) by her friends "The Sick". 

Cest une biographie; mais practically entirely made using letters of my sister: her 
book, published under her name. If and as soon as the book is printed, I will send 
it to you, — naturally. 

Besides, nothing much. Max and Simone had an excellent trip to Casa- 
blanca; and now they are on the eve of flying (both of them), by special plane, to 
Guinea. Eleonore wrote me from Munich. She is deeply interested, but not 
attracted, by Germany, and plans to be back in Paris (for a last research for a job) 
on about February 15. 1 sent her your address in India. — Received a Xmas letter 
of Rose "Life for me, although ever interesting, is rather difficult as I have no 
teaching post this year. Tutoring helps, but not enough", she says. — Leroy was 
delayed by a strike on Vile de France. Is leaving tomorrow by an american cargo 
(a "dry" one!). 

Good bye, dearest! In my last letter (written at the end of December) I 
forgot to tell you that on Ste Lucile's day my thought and my mass had been for 
you. — Thank you so much for the book "Cry my beloved country": it came rather 
late, but OK. Did not yet read it: but I keep it on my shelf, as a box of candy. 

With love, as ever, THEIR 


15 Rue Monsieur 
Paris, February the 16th, 1950 


Just received your so interesting letter from fabulous Jaipur. Must have 
been a thrill, but also a funny impression, for you to get a personal glimpse, just 
before it dies, on an already condemned type of life, — a kind of luxurious flower 
grown by a past season of the world! Something still more fantastic will come 
out of our industrialised and totalizing society, I am convinced. But sous quelle 
forme? et de quel parfum? I wonder what is going to be, at the end, your final 
reaction to India, — to its mixture of decaying splendor and swarming popula- 
tion. Looking from outside, I feel more and more convinced that, for a long time, 
the East may bring its tremendous mass, but will not act as a "moteur" (engine) 
in the development of the world. So strange that you should go, you too, to beau- 
tiful Kashmir! 

Here, nothing much since the new year. January was cold, so that I stood 
wisely at home as much as possible. But now the weather is quite mild: a kind of 
spring, already. No reaction so far from Rome concerning the manuscript of the 
"five lectures" on Man, which, I know, was received safely there a fortnight ago. I 
remain relatively hopeful, and I do not expect a final answer before two months. 
On the other hand, I have submitted to a publisher, here, in Paris, a book (with 
une preface written by me) on my sister (la malade) who died in 1935. In fact, the 
book is mostly made of quotations of my sister, cleverly compiled by her friends 
de "lllnion Catholique des Malades". I think it might be a success. But I am not 
yet sure of the publisher's appreciation. 

Autrement, je continue a aligner les notes et les idees, — et avoir un assez 
grand nombre degens interessants, who generally leave my room with a bunch of 
selected separates or "clandestins". I wonder sometimes how long this type of 
activity will continue without starting new troubles: because, on the whole, my 
position is somewhat hardening and my influence spreading. If the book could be 
printed, things would certainly relax. In the meantime, and in spite of my rather 
"jobless" situation, life is rather exciting, because I feel still moving inside. 

And I have read "Cry, the beloved country". First I had the impression 
that it was too much sentimental and "goody-goody", — too much a "preacher's 
work". But gradually I was caught by the whole situation: a clever, and appar- 
ently extremely true expression of the whole african human problem. So that I 
must say that I enjoyed the lecture and got a great deal out of it. 

Now, a few news from Paris. Rhoda works steadily on her novel, and 
begins to search for a new appartment (because she may have to leave the one she 
has now, in April); Noel is shining as a star at the American School. — The 
Begouens are probably in french Guinee, by now (by air). — No news from 
Elionore, so far. En revanche I am having lunch, today, with the Burchart, — back 
from England, and en route (motoring) to la Cote d'Azur and Italy. I shall give 
them the last news of your journey. — Laurette Dorget phoned me yesterday; they 






are transferred from Moskow to Copenhagen. Francoise Raphael left (lost) her job 
al'Unesco (at least provisionally), and is just wondering whether it is not the 
best for her to be forced to search for less "bureaucratiques" activities. — Leroy 
must be in Chicago by now, but 1 have not yet his address. He will certainly see 
Mile Saizeau. He brought a copy of my stenciled book to Dr. Fejos (Viking Fund) 
who talked very nicely of me, and is ready to help me to come to America for any 
kind of"unformal" activities. 

Et voila a peu pres toutes les nouvelles. ]'ai trop attendu avant de repon- 
dre a votre lettre du 28 Janvier; so that I hope that you will get this one very fast. 

Have a good and fruitful time! and God bless you, dearest. 

as ever 


Paris, 6 Avril 50 


I am awfully late with you, although I have well received your so nice 
letter from the Hills, and the long one written on your return in Delhi. The last 
news of you I got two days ago from Eleonore, who came to have lunch with me 
at the little restaurant you know, near les Etudes. 1 hope that Kashmir will have 
super-imposed a deep feeling of majesty and of peace to your so mixed spiritual 
impressions of India. Last Tuesday 1 met at dinner the physicist and communist 
Joliot-Curie, just (or almost just) back from Calcutta-Delhi-Bombay. He is obvi- 
ously somewhat biased in his appreciations on political subjects. Still, what he 
says reminds strangely and ominously ofkouomintang China. Well, we are living 
in a quickly and dangerously moving world. We have better to face it, — and 
chiefly to develop a strong faith (based on a clear vision of things) in the Future 
of Man. 

Which brings me to the subject of my "book" (the five lectures). The crit- 
ics of Rome finally reached me ten days ago (delayed three weeks by the mistake 
of a secretary). Not too bad. Le censeur was evidently got a understanding man: 
not on my side. Nevertheless, none of his remarks would require more than a 
slight eclaircissement of my text. So did I. My proposed retouches will be in Rome 
for Easter. And then maybe 1 will get the permit of printing; - unless they decide 
to have "une super-revision" (which would mean an endless processus): but I 
hope for the best 

In the meantime, the last weeks have been for me relatively busy. Five 
lessons (purely technical) a la Sorbonne, on the Prehistory of the Far-East; and 
three private talks or lectures, — the most developped of them being a lecture a la 
Cite Universitaire (students) on what I called "Les Phases (de developpement) 
d'une Planete vivante". I will "rediger" more carefully this last talk as soon as 
possible, — although 1 do not see where to publish it, so far. — Did I tell you that 
I had written a Foreword for a book written on (or rather by) my sister, la 
malade, who died in 1935? Finally the book has been heartily accepted by a very 
good publisher, here, in Paris (it will not be printed however before a few 
months); and I am very glad. La "transfiguration" de la souffrance is one of the 

major problems of human Life; and the living example of my little sister may be THEIR 

extremely illuminating for many suffering people. 1949-55 

On the whole, life is going on rather smoothly for me, — although I have 

the feeling that something is slowly changing "under my feet", — since my scien- 259 

Hfic and religious Weltanschauung is unavoidably getting sharper and sharper. 

Some little crisis may develop any minute; — unless the publication of my book 

(if permitted) gives a sort of'officielle reconnaissance." In fact, I do not worry. 

The main thing is that some views which I regard as vital should live and thrive: 

and they do. And that makes me fundamentally happy. 

Besides, not much to say. Eleonore seems quite calmer and happier. A 
good thing that she is now reconciled with Germany. Leroy writes me frequently 
from Chicago. He is interested with his work, — although he has to live in a 
rather narrow-minded house of my order (a new "Chabanel" house (Shih-hu- 
hutung), he told me!). He has come in touch with Mile Saizeau, — and also with 
Claire Hirschberg, who has just lost her father, somewhere in Texas. Here, Mme 
Raphael is still jobless (she has some definite hopes for the fall). Diane de Mar- 
gerie is going to marry her italian prince soon after Easter. Rhoda works steadily 
to her book, and is not yet out of her appartment Noel shines as the star of the 
America School. Malvina /Hoffman] was rather sick (flu), and does not seem to 
plan a trip to Europe this year (her sister is still alive). She does not say anything 
about the"monument" d'Epinal. Was the project dropped? I hope not. 

Et voilik pour cette fois. May you have a good Easter time, dearest, — 
plenty of light inside of you! I am glad to think that you are going to Siam: the 
true Far-East, and an impression of China. — I am not leaving Paris before 
August (the end or the middle of August), —for a month approximately. Such a 
joy to see you here once more! 

yours, as ever. 


Paris, 9 mai 1950 


Thank you so much for the long and sweet letter of April 29 (from Siam), 
arrived only two days ago. In spite of the perspiration you positively seem quite 
alive; and I feel so confident that, on your coming back to the States, you shall 
feel physically and spiritually rejuvenated! 

Here, as far as I am concerned, nothing much new. I am still waiting 
(after four weeks) the answer of Rome to my proposed corrections. Is that a bad 
or a good omen? impossible to say. In the meantimes I am unexpectedly starting 
(since a few days) a candidature to the french Academie des Sciences. I did not 
intend nor exactly like to take this step, — but I was thrown accidentally in the 
affair; and now I am going on. I am sure to get many favourable ballots; but I 
start rather as an outsider (at the last minute), a circumstance which diminishes 
my chances. The vote is expected in a fortnight. The main advantage for me to be 
elected would be an increase ofroman consideration. But such a bore to visit peo- 
ple with the idea of getting "leur voix"! 





Otherwise, days are passing one by one, rather interesting and pleasing. 
Always some new acquaintance, and some new intellectual excitement, in this 
Parisian environment In spite of the fact that my ideas seem to have reached fcy 
now the stage where they grow simpler, fewer and bigger, rather than multiply- 
ing. Presently, two points are practically absorbing the whole of my internal 
attention: the first being the evidence that, religiously speaking, the major event 
in our world is a certain change in "the face of God" (God becoming a loving Cen- 
ter of universal Evolution, rather than the big "landowner" of yesterday); — and 
the second being the vital urgence to watch and feed in Man "Le godt de vivre" 
(that is the Evolution pressure), which is decidedly the most fundamental of the 
cosmic energies. — Since a month I have written two short, but rather good, 
Essays: the one on what I call "Us phases d'une Planete Vivante" (that is, an 
interpretation of Life and Man in the World), - the other under the little "Le 
phenomene chretien" (to show and detect what is probably essentiel and "for 
ever" in the christian Weltanschauung: that is the idea and gradual rise of a Lov- 
ing center of the Universe). Both of them 1 had first "talked", in lectures. The only 
trouble is that I do not see how to print them. 

Pourenvenirmaintenantauxevene- Now for some outside events: two 
merits exterieurs, j'ai baptise il y a days ago, I baptized the second baby of 

deux jours le second bebe de ma niece 
de Paris et mon autre nilce d'Auvergne 
(lafille de Gabriel) vient aussi d' avoir 
un garqon (her third child in three 
years!). Meres et enfants se portent tres 
bien. - Par ailleurs Diane de Margerie 
(Vavez-vous vue en Chine?) vient 
d'epouser un prince italien (Pignatelli) 
manage tres gentil - Les Burchart ont 
d& quitter la France vendredi dernier. II 
y a une semaine j'ai encore dejeune 
avec eux. Tous les deux tres gais; Otto 
comme un jeune homme, -joignant tou- 
jours aussi habilement le business aux 
plaisirs du voyage (j'ai cru comprendre 
qu'il se specialise maintenant dans les 
curios des Cyclades, - puisque la Chine 
est fermee). -Eleonore report demain 
pour Stuttgart: tres en forme, toute 
semillante, - mais toujours en suspens 
avec ses amoureux indecis. Elk semble 
vouloir rester en Europe aussi long- 
temps que possible sans compromettre 
I'acquisition de son citizenship americ- 
ain. Pour le premier mai, elk m'a si 
gentiment apporte une bouteilk d'egg- 
nug, en souvenir de Peking (et j'avais 
recu juste quelques jours avant votre 
brin de myosotis du Kashmiri qui m'a 

my niece who lives in Paris; and my 
other niece from Auvergne (Gabriel's 
daughter) also just had a little boy (her 
third child in three years!). Mothers 
and children are all doing very well. 
Otherwise Diane de Margerie (did you 
meet her in China?) just married an 
Italian prince (Pignatelli): a very nice 
wedding. The Burcharts probably left 
France last Friday. I had lunch with 
them only a week ago. Both very 
happy; Otto like a young man - still 
mixing very skilfully business and the 
pleasures of travel (I seem to under- 
stand that he now specializes in the 
curios of the Cyclades — since China is 
closed). Eleonore is leaving tomorrow, 
going back to Stuttgart: she is in very 
good health, quite vivacious, but still in 
suspense with her undecided lovers. It 
seems that she wants to stay in Europe 
as long as possible without compromis- 
ing acquisition of her the American citi- 
zenship. For the 1st of May, she very 
nicely brought me a bottle of eggnog in 
memory of Peking (and I had just 
received a few days before your sprig 
of forget-me-not from Kashmir! which 
touched me deeply). Leroy is not hav- 

bien touche). — Leroy ne s'amuse pas 
beaucoup a Chicago, ou il a des diffi- 
culty's maUrielles a mettre en train ses 
experiences. Mais il ne perd pas cour- 
age. Sa meilleure consolation est Mile 
Saizeau, — asset prioccupee par la 
perspective de perdre son job, — ce qui 
la forcerait de rentrer en France. - A 
propos de job, Francoise Raphael 
esphe trouver bientdt une place dans 
I'enseignement (aux Colonies); mais 
rien West encore fait. En attendant, elle 
fait bonne figure. Mais naturellement, 
au fond, elle est un peu inquiete. 

Good bye, dearest Mon plus fidele 
souvenir a Delia, — et a Bosshart! 
Comme cela semble Strange, toutes ces 
reunions atravers le monde . . . 

God bless and direct you! 

as ever 


ing much fun in Chicago where he has 
met with financial difficulties in start- 
ing his experiments. But he is not los- 
ing courage. His best consolation is 
Mile Saizeau — quite preoccupied by 
the perspective of losing her job — 
which would oblige her to go back to 
France. Talking of jobs, Francoise 
Raphael hopes to find a position soon 
as a teacher (in the Colonies): but noth- 
ing has been decided yet. Meanwhile, 
she keeps up a good appearance. But, 
naturally, deep down she is a little wor- 
ried. Let's hope. 

Good bye, dearest. Faithful regards 
to Delia — and to Bosshart! How 
strange all these reunions seem 
throughout the world. 





Rhoda est encore dans son apparte- 
ment; mais elle va sans doute avoir a 
changer: une amie franqaise la recoit 
dans son appartement pour I'ete. Ida 
est attendue,fin Juin. 

Rhoda is still in her apartment; but 
she probably will have to change: a 
French friend will receive her in her 
apartment for the summer. Ida is 
expected at the end of June. 

Paris, 15 July, 1950 


I just receive your letter of July 6. So you must already be in Rome just 
now! Almost close. 

As far as my plans are concerned, I am leaving Paris at the beginning of 
August (about the 10th? I am not sure: depends on my brother), going to 
Auvergne, as usually. And I will stay there up to the middle of September, approx- 
imately. — Let me know what you do and where you are. 

Finally, once more, my book (No. 2) did not get the roman "visa". Reason: 
nothing to be criticized, but the content is not sufficiently "scientific" (that is, it 
is too much "philosophic": a point on which I do not agree, of course). Since I was 
more or less expecting the verdict, I was not disappointed. And, by the end of Sep- 
tember, I will probably have a small stenciled edition to distribute to my friends. 
— In the meantimes the ideas are spreading fast; so that I feel quite satisfied, on 
the whole And, in addition, I have some plans of work for the next year. I will tell 

Leroy is now well established in his Chicago Lab, — and satisfied. But I 
do not think that he has found any real friends down there; and he misses it. — 





Here, Frangoise Raphael is still jobless: the hopes she had for a teaching position 
did not materialize. Her situation becomes to be a bit serious: I am so sorry for 
her! — Did I tell you that Rhoda has lost her brother Charles, — both a "chagrin" 
for her, and a source of material troubles. She is hunting for a momentary job, she 

Good bye, dearest 1 am so glad to feel that you are in good spirits, and so 
near, too! 



Ida Treat is in Britanny (Brehat) since the end of June. 

Lucile visited in Rome about two weeks and then went to Paris. There, at the end of July 
Lucile saw Teilhard several times, before he went off to Auvergne to visit with his family. 

15 Rue Monsieur 
Paris, 30 Juillet, 1950 


Such a joy to see you again! 

You are sure to catch me by phone on Friday morning. Early afternoon of 
Friday 1 can not easely dispose, but we could join at 6 P.M. (for instance) and 
have dinner together. 

If by chance you should once more take a room a VAiglon, you would find 
Nirgidma there! 

My best regards to the Vincent's. 1 am so sorry for Betty. 

A bientot! 



Ces quelques lignes, en conclusion 
d'une rencontre douce et feconde au 
fond (malgrS qu'un peu douloureuse et 
agitee), pour vous dire ceci. 

Depuis pres de 20 ans, vous m'avez 
toujours aide ( et j'ai essaye de vous 
aider) a monter vers un Dieu toujours 
plus lumineux etplus chaud. 

Je compte, je crois. que cette belle et 
forte collaboration peut et doit contin- 

Et, en ce qui me concerne, soyez sure 
que je continuerai (par besoin person- 
nel interne) a vous tenir au courant de 

Paris, 10 Ao^t, 1950 

These few lines as a conclusion to a 
sweet and basically fruitful meeting 
(although somewhat painful and trou- 
bled), to tell you this. 

For almost twenty years, you have 
always helped me (and I have tried to 
help you) to go up toward an always 
more luminous and warm God. 

I count on, I believe, that this beauti- 
ful and strong collaboration can and 
must go on. 

And, as far as I am concerned, be 
sure that I will continue (because of a 
personal inner need) to keep you 

ce queje vols, de ce queje pense, de ce 
que je fats, etdece qui m 'arrive. 

Ma grande conviction, je vous le 
repite, est que Hen ne resiste, dans 
I'Univers, A toujours plus de confiance 
et a toujours plus defoi. 

Je viens de dire ma messe pour 
vous, — pour que vous trouviez fa 
paix. - dans I'Unique Necessaire et 
IVnique Suffisant. "Dieu seul est 
pleinement bon", dit le Christ dans 

God bless you, dearest 


informed about what I see, what I 
think, what I do and what happens to 

My great conviction, I tell you again, 
is that nothing in the Universe can 
resist an ever greater trust and ever 
greater faith. 

I have just said my mass for you — 
so that you may find peace in the One 
and only Necessary and the One and 
only Sufficient. "God alone is fully 
good/' says Christ in the Gospel. 

Les Moulins, 25 aout, 1950 

I have just received this morning your nice letter of Aug. 22. The precedent 
one (written from Paris) came also OK, but I did not know where to answer you. 
I was delighted that you could meet the Huxley s: I envy you. But perhaps for an 
exaggerated touch of "orientalism" in his philosophy of positivism or Weltan- 
schauung, I like Julian; and it must be a treat to meet him "at home". 

And I must thank you very much for the clippings — the one by Dr. 
Wright on "Outmoded language" impressed me decidedly: 

il contient d'excellentes formules). (it contains some excellent expres- 
Ici aussi, en France, toute I'intelligen- sions). Also here in France all the Chris- 

zia chretienne est tres excitee (et de- 
cidement troublie) par les dernihes 
manifestations romaines (Encyclique 
et dogme de YAssomption). I get letters 
or anxious reactions from everywhere. 
Je crois voir A peu pr&s ce que les theol- 
ogiens romains ont en vue (empecher le 
dogme chritien de s'evaporer en s'a- 
justant aux vues modernes du Monde). 
Mais Us ont pris un bien dangereux 
langage pour s'exprimer: almost a 
challenge to the whole and to the most 
essential core of modern science. Le 
plus drole est que, en definissant I'As- 
somption (qui n'a aucun fondement la- 
teral dans YEcriture) Us affirment 
implicitement que le Dogme peut en- 
core evoluer sur lui-meme. lis agissent 
en "evolutionnistes" en meme temps 
qu'ils refusent d 1 accepter Involution! 

On savait que ces demonstrations 
"fundamentalistes" se produiraient a 
Rome cette annee. je Wen suis done pas 

tian intelligentsia are very excited (and 
decidedly troubled) by the latest Ro- 
man manifestations (the Encyclical and 
the dogma of the Assumption). I get let- 
ters or anxious reactions from every- 
where. I think I almost understand 
what the Roman theologians have in 
mind (to prevent the Christian dogma 
from evaporating while adjusting to the 
modern views of the World). But they 
used a very dangerous language to ex- 
press themselves: almost a challenge to 
the whole and to the most essential core 
of modern science. Oddly enough, in 
defining the Assumption (which has no 
literal foundation in the Scriptures) 
they implicitly assert that Dogma may 
still evolve upon itself. They behave as 
"evolutionists" at the same time as they 
refuse to accept Evolution! 

We knew that these "fundamentalist" 
demonstrations would take place in 
Rome this year. So they did not surprise 









surpris, ni deconcerte. Mais si Vimpor- 
tattce de continuer mes efforts se trouve 
accrue par lefait mime, le travail n'en 
est pas rendu plus facile: saufdans la 
mesure ou les gens, par besoin de trou- 
ver une atmosphere respirable, se rap- 
procheront plus encore qu'avant du 
point de vue que je represents Je ne 
prevois pas du teste encore, en qui me 
concerne, de "show down". On doit 
considerer comme mesure de precau- 
tion suffisante, h Rome, d' avoir 
empiche mon deuxieme livre (en juin) 
de paraitre. Tout de mime;je me trouve 
un peu on the razor's edge . . . 

lei, vie tres calme , dans un tres beau 
cadre. J'ai mis en train un nouvel essai 
(U coeur de fa Matim: une analyse de 
mon evolution interieure, depuis mon 
enfance) Mais je n'espere pas Vachever 
id. La vie id, malgre Visolement 
geographique en plane campagne, est 
coupee par toutes sortes de visites et de 
"parties"; ce qui a Vavantage de me 
faire mieux connattre VAuvergne et de 
renouer avec ma parente. llfaisait trop 
sec jusqu'ici; mais la pluie est arrivee 

Je pense toujours rentrer vers le 
milieu de septembre. 

Hope to see you! 

Good bye, dearest. My best regards to Sydney Cooper. 

Barbour may arrive t§xe this afternoon for a short visit. So strange! 

Les Moulins, 9 sept, 1950 


Just a few lines (answering, a bit late!) your letter ofAug.29) to tell you 
that I am decidedly leaving VAuvergne this coming week. I am planning to come 
back on the 15th to Paris; so that you can reach me there a partir du 16. 

I hope you will get this letter before you leave England! 

Nothing new, here: except that my brother, his wife and "lejeune menage" 
are back from a five-days motoring trip in the South, so that the house is alive 
again. Just now, the weather and the light are simply marvelous: almost a pity to 
leave! But I had a good rest. I could advance my paper. Better now to take a new 

me, nor did they disconcert me. But if the 
importance of continuing with my 
efforts has increased by this very fact my 
work has not been made easier: except in 
the measure in which people, because of 
their need to find an atmosphere in 
which they can breathe, will approach 
the point of view which I represent even 
closer than before. Beyond that 1 do not 
foresee, a "show down" that will concern 
me. In Rome they must think they have 
taken sufficient precautions by prevent- 
ing my second book from being pub- 
lished (in June). All the same, I find 
myself a little on the razor's edge. 

Here, in very beautiful surround- 
ings, life is peaceful. I started a new es- 
say (The Heart of Matter : an analysis of 
my inner evolution since my child- 
hood). But I cannot hope to finish it 
here. Life here, in spite of the geo- 
graphical isolation in the middle of the 
countryside, is broken up by all kinds 
of visits and "parties"; this has the ad- 
vantage of making me know Auvergne 
better and of my getting reacquainted 
with my relatives. It was too dry until 
now, but the rain came yesterday. 

I still think of returning around the 
middle of September . . .) 

plunge in real life. I have no news from my colleagues; and I am curious (if not THEIR 
anxious) to appreciate what is going on in the religious and human world 1949-55 

A bientdt, j'esperel LETTERS 



15 Rue Monsieur 
Pans, 29 Sept, 1950 


After circling the world, you are now aiming back toward a beautiful 
nest in New-York. 

May your return be happy and successful. And may life start again for 
you as a new spring, — because for you (as for me) nothing, less and less, is of any 
final interest or value outside of the discovery and approach of the "Unique 
Nicessaire": the Oneness, I mean, into which Earth and Heaven are converging all 
through the World's joy and pain. 

I wish you a happy year, full of ideas, work and contacts; and I hope it 
will be so. Let me know what you do, what you think, what you see. I will do the 
same. You can help me tremendously, heart and brain, by this mutual exchange. 
Life, for both of us, is still going on. Let us always look ahead! 

Bon voyage, — et "a bientdt" in your new studio, perhaps! 



I will send you my Essays 
when they hatch, — of course. 

Paris, Dec. the 15th, 1950 


Your dear letter ofDec.12 has arrived this morning, at the very moment I 
was going to write you, — both for Xmas and for the Ste Lucie feast. — Yes, on 
the morning of the 13, 1 said Mass for you, — and for everything in you and 
around you. And I am sure that God is blessing you; and that He will help both of 
us in the difficult, but beautiful task (the greatest of the Arts) of reaching and (in 
some way) achieving Him out of Matter. By the same mail (but by ordinary mail) 
1 send you a copy (just ready) of my last essay, "he Coeur de la Matiere": a sort of 
history of my spiritual adventure, "the Quest of Spirit through Matte/'. 1 wonder 
whether you will like it, — but I think you will . Anyhow, these pages are an effort 
to express an internal evolution deeply impressed by you . And 1 think also that 
they are a fairly good expression of my present state of mind. — Really, at this 
point (an approaching terminal point) of my life, I may say that nothing counts 
any more for me except a passionate interest for a better vision and discovery-of- 
God-through-evolving-Matter: this effort bringing me to a warm and rich feeling 
of some mysterious essence of human Research — and love. 






In fact, and in spite of many unpleasant affairs between French catholic 
thought and Rome (the Encyclical letter), I feel curiously eager, calm and decided 
to progress still further along my line. No breaking whatever, I think: but a smil- 
ing and stubborn tenacity. It is utterly impossible for me not to see (and to say) 
what I see. And I am so sure that God cannot be smaller than our biggest and 
wildest conceptions! Of course, I cannot print. But printing is not essential. I am 
glad you liked my last booklet (Julian Huxley told me very appreciative things 
about it). I plan to have its substance published in a scientific memoir next year, 
- after I have talked it (next January), in the course of five lectures, at the Sor- 
bonne (Geology). — In spite of the present stiffening of Rome, it seems that the 
people, there, are fcgg suspicious of my doings. Largely, perhaps, because I spoke 
loudly of taking a scientific trip to South Africa: back to material facts and to 
field, at last (they think). Concerning this african projects, everything seems to 
develop favorably, — except that I have still no answer from Dr. Fejos (Viking 
Fund). Scientifically speaking, I realize more and more that this is for me "the 
very thing to do". My idea would be, if the plan materializes, to go to America 
from South Africa, directly, — next autumn (leaving Paris for Africa in July 

I amsji glad to think that you are now settled in your new studio, — 
working once more on ivory and clay. May Inspiration visit you, — and commis- 
sions come, too! — I did not see Joe Davidson since your departure. But, last 
Monday, I had dinner at Mme. de Podestal (with Andre Billy and Marthe de Fels). 
A very pleasant party, — - where, of course, we talked of you. Another one who 
talked of you (last Sunday) is Julian Huxley, now in Paris for a week. I was 
extremely glad to see him again. He is developing big plans concerning a kind of 
Institute "for advanced Research in the line of Human Ideology"; and, of course, I 
feel deeply interested in the project. 

Now, a few more news about various people. Leroy is probably staying in 
the University of Chicago (Dept. of Anatomy) six months more (that is up to the 
summer). — No direct news from Franqoise Raphael (no address!): but, in his last 
letter, Leroy told me that she was extremely successful somewhere in Egypt 
(Cairo?). — Guy Dorget is going, as "consul general", to Florence; according to 
the mother of Laurette (I met her a few days ago) everything is all right now 
between him and Laurette. And I am so glad! 

The Begouens are still here for a few days, — Max having been delayed 
for an important question of money. Just the same charming friends. Max has 
bought a little car for Simone — with the result that her life is going to be entirely 
improved in Casablanca. 

I metjeanine Dubosc in the street recently: just the same, too; except that 
one of their little boys (who was walking with her) is a big boy, by now. 

No news from Eleonore! 

Good bye, dearest! God bless you, — and me. 

A merry Xmas to you, and a happy new year! 

New York, Dec 22, 1950 THEIR 
n 1949-55 

uearest, ifttfr^ 

Your precious letter came a few days ago and nothing you could have sent me 
could have given me more pleasure. And thank you for the St. Lucks day mass. Im sure it 267 
will help me. And I shall be so especially interested in your new essay, "he Coeur de la 
Matiere. " I hope it comes soon. 

Oh Pierre, I have recently been reading Le Milieu Divin. and I understand why it 
has been loved by so many people, and it is of special delight to me because it somehow so 
vividly recalls to mind the YOU as you were when I first knew you, the eager searcher, the 
mystic who was so full of the love of the world and to whom God was so so close, so much 
a part of you that everyone who came in contact with you was aware of His Presence. I like 
to hold to this picture for it broadens my own feeling and vision. 

That same spirit went through your letters and how proud and happy 1 was when 
you said how much I helped to clarify your ideas, to talk them over with me and so it was 
OUR work - and you say so kindly in this last letter "the internal evolution so deeply 
impressed by you" . Perhaps it was something like this that you meant when you wrote 
over and over again "what is born between us is for ever ". 

Oh my dear and let me remember one otlier thing, do you remember our last 
Xmas in Peking, when we trimmed the little Xmas tree together? It was so gay and so 
FREE and Christ's spirit was so definitely there too. I believe Bob Drummond came in 
later and we laughed and had a little drink together. Oh dearest, I drink to you now with 
all my heart. My wish for the New Year is tltat you will find God more closely and deeply 
every day, which will help you to love the World even more than you have done. 

One thing you say in your last letter that I do not understand "the discovery of 
God through evolving matter, as I understand matter it does not evolve.Isnt it always H20 
etc? to infinite combinations . . The mind, the spirit evolve; but does Matter? Throug h 
matter yes, but evolving Matter, what is that? surely you dont mean such things as the 
atom bomb, its true that it releases a new kind of energy in the world, which may have 
enormous consequences, is that the sort of thing you mean? I hope you will some day have 
time to answer this. 

Im deeply interested in this plan of Julian Huxley's to develope an Institute for 
research of Human Ideology" oh I do hope it will materialize and soon, there have been 
several such dreams but always something has happened. Maybe now there will be enough 
people who will realize the importance and necessity of such an Institute. It has always 
been my dream that you would spend your later years working in such a place with men 
whose minds and spirits would be an inspiration to you. wouldnt it be wonderful if it 
should happen? 

And I am SO happy that you are going to S. Africa. It will be so good for you to 
"get your hands in the Earth" again. I do think this is still very important for your spirit. 
Too long in Paris has never been so good. Will Barbour go with you? I hope you have 
heard from Frjos [sic] by now. I have not seen Ralph Linton but have heard from him, he 
seldom gets to New York, but I could make a POINT of seeing him if there was anything to 
be gained by it. Will it mean some time in the field? Oh Pierre it would make you feel so 
fres again ..lam more than delighted that it is going to happen. 

I had a long talk with Bob Drummond the other day . . . it was fun to talk of 

TElUiARD Peking again ..I do love it and the city itself is always so beautiful 1 can see you now as 1 

& LUCILE mce saw y0M i n y 0ur rickshaw in your tall fur hat... looking rather severe and "catholic" 

CORRESPOND ^ a ^^j expression on your face Bob and I talked so many such pictures came 

268 to m V mind • • • reall y there was MUCH much that wa8 ver y dutiful in those days. Cod 

bless you dearest, may the New Year bring you (and me too) great Peace. 

Paris, fan. 22, 1951 


Day before yesterday came your long letter ofjan.17, —full of news, one 
of the best being that you like your studio, and that you are working to interest- 
ing things. 1 was so surprised that you should have met Bob Drummond. 1 am 
afraid China is decidedly a closed paradise for him, now. What is he going to do? 
A week ago, 1 met Janine Dubosc, and her husband. She is actually running the 
curios shop of her father, here, in Paris; and apparently she likes it immensely: 
and she told me that the trade is still good, because there are so many people who 
sell their Chinese things because they need money, and still so many other people 
who want to buy them! 

In my own life, nothing much new. Still a few clouds in Rome's direction, 
on account of some unwise newspapers articles (about my so called " clandes- 
tine'); but nothing serious. Presently I am busy with a series of lectures a la Sor- 
bonne, concerning the phytogeny of Man. Five of them, on the whole, — always in 
the line du Phenomene humain, but from a slightly different angle, and with some 
new ideas. Je les redige a mesure and when they are finished, I will get them 
printed in a strictly scientific review, so that Rome can say nothing. And I shall 
have a sufficient number of separates. — Besides, I see a rather large number of 
various people, of any kind; and discussing with them helps me a lot in advanc- 
ing my own views. I am so much convinced, more and more, that nothing can be 
obtained any more in the line of making Man happier and better except by visual' 
izing a "new dimension" of God: the God of a moving and growing World — the 
true Spirit of Matter, — lam glad you liked my last essay. And I am glad that I 
have written it out, too. That is certainly something which I had to express une 
bonne fois. Now I feel plus disponible for something else. 

The Begouens have left Paris a week ago, only, because Max was 
detained for some important financial reasons. And they were scarcely in Tou- 
louse when Simone fell sick once more: some trouble in the ears, making her 
dizzy. I hope she is well again and able to reach Casablanca. But I have no news. 
Poor Simone! Always ailing somewhere, and yet so sweet. 

No recent news from Leroy, who is protracting his staying in Chicago (up 
to next autumn, I think). I don't think he is particularly happy (too much alone!), 
but his work is quite successful. I got only one letter from Frangoise, who seems 
to enjoy very much lsmatliah, her girls (she is teaching french), and le Club du 
Canal She is much better there than at the UNESCO, anyhow. 

Finally, I got an answer from the Viking Fund. Nothing granted so far 
(the board does not meet before March); but the prospects are good. Really, going 
to the Australopithecidae sites would be the best thing to do for me just now: a 
new and important scientific work; and the best way to keep Rome quiet on my 
subject. Since I can not hide in Peking any more. 

Good bye, dearest; and Cod bless you plenty! THEIR 


Yours RT. 

Paris, 19 Fevrier 1951 

Just received this morning your letter ofFebr.14. It found me approxi- 
mately in the same external and internal conditions as those I was in January. So 
far I have escaped flu (not so bad, but quite extensive, in Paris). And my work is 
slowly progressing along the same lines. The five lectures h la Sorbonne I enjoyed 
giving, much more than I could suspect, — probably because, for the first time, I 
succeeded in displaying systematically, before an audience, the whole of my sci- 
entific Weltanschaung as far as Man is concerned. In the last lecture, I empha- 
sized the point that, from my sckntifk point of view, Man can not reach his 
evolutionary maturation unless, ahead of him, he can recognise (or at least hope) 
that the World is nj£ closed, but does open on some higher type of existence (oth- 
erwise, he will get discouraged, bored, and stop pushing Life further on by 
research and creative effort). Rather "piquant" to deliver this kind of teaching in 
the very Amphithi&tre de Geologie de la Sorbonne. Anyhow, my friend Prof Piv- 
eteau has already in hands my manuscript (fully ready) and the whole thing will 
be printed this summer, as a scientific memoir, in the "Annales de Paleontologie". 
So that Rome will not be able to reproach me to wander outside the field of Sci- 

On the other hand, the book on (or rather by) my sister ("L'energie spiri- 
tuelle de la Souffrance", with a preface by me) is supposed to be out on February 
28 next I will have a copy sent to you as soon as possible. 

The lectures being finished, I am now slowly busy with the preparation 
of a small essay, precisely on the fundamental topic I told you the last time. To 
make people aware of the fundamental psychical change brought in our life by the 
newly born perception of a converging (or concentrating) Universe, in which, "a 
force d! organisation", the Weltstoff, is gradually becoming consciousfthat is 
"intfrieur" to itself). Really a new World, in which the whole set of human (and 
christian) problems and values are strangely transformed and "transfigured". My 
plan is to talk privately the subject before writing it, —for a selected type of 
readers, as usually. 

Recently, a rather small catholic newspaper has still devoted a large 
number of columns to my ideas (rather nicely, but so stupidly!): two full articles 
already, and one more to come. But nothing dangerous or even unpleasant: noth- 
ing except a new evidence of the utter incapacity of the average catholic mind to 
grasp the new scientific vision of the Universe (so far). 

Otherwise, nothing new. I am slowly preparing my south-african trip; 
but without still believing that it will actually materialize. And yet, to go down 
there would give me a kind of new scientific start. I must try to do it, by all 
means, parfidiliti h la vie. God will decide and help. 

Give my best regards to Bob Drummond and Rose. No recent news from 


Met yesterday, in the street, Janine Dubosc. She looked all right, as usu- 
ally. I did not hear anything about her family situation. 

TEILHARD I wrote to Malvina. Hope that the shock was not to much for her. In a 

& LUCILE way $ne must feel more free for her own life, now. 
CORRESPOND Goo ^arest, 



Leroy is decidedly staying in Chicago University, Lab. of Anatomy, up to August 
or September. 

Paris, March the 29th, 1951 


So many thanks for your good Easter letter, — and for the "printed" mail 
(which has arrived yesterday). I hope that, in turn, you have well received the 
booklet of (on) my sister, which I sent you some three weeks ago. — I knew, from 
the newspapers (Time, specially), the de-motion of John Carter [Vincent]} and I 
understand your feelings. But don't forget how often to be demoted is the price 
and the indication of a next promotion. Before long, events may throw a new 
light on what should be the true and sound politic attitude in China. And, in the 
meantimes, Tangiers is certainly a most remarkable point of vantage. Please, tell 
Betty my warmest sympathy, if you happen to see her. 

Here, as far as I am concerned, things are going on rather smoothly. In 
spite of some new unpleasing publicity (on my ideas) in the conservative catholic 
press, Rome seems to have lost interest (or hope) a mon endroit; and I keep on 
writing new Essays, — which however I do not spread except in the most discreet 
way. Two short papers are actually being stenciled. I will send them to you, when 
"out of press". On the other hand, my lectures a la Sorbonne will be published 
this coming summer in a highly technical Revue: so that nobody can accuse me to 
wander on non-scientific fields. — On the whole, I feel more and more interested 
(uniquely interested) on the double problem: 

a) to discover an appropriate psychic energy for the human effort of push- 
ing on evolution towards some "ultra-Human". 

b) and consequently to "unveil" the face of the God we need for radiating 
such an Energy (of human self-and ultra-evolution). 

Last week, I still had a long talk with Julian Huxley (on his way to the Jo 
Davidson's manoir, for the holidays) concerning the possibility of starting an 
"Institute (Research Institute) for Human Self-Evolution". Julian is going lectur- 
ing in the States next April (lectures at Washington and in Indiana); and he will 
meet Dr. Fejos (Viking Fund, — a good friend of mine) in New-York. In my mind, 
the South-African trip (si interessant soit-il geologically speaking) is nothing 
else but a step (and a screen) in the direction of this new field of activities. 

I have read carefully the pages ofSwami Nikhilananda. I see quite well 
why you feel attracted. But at the same time I feel reluctant and unconfortable 
each time I happen to read these hindu teachings, because I have the impression 
that they are using our "occidental" words without understanding them properly 
(two weeks ago, somebody sent me the last publications of late Sri Aurobindo: 

and I felt the same). — More precisely, it seems to me that, on three major points, THEIR 

the "oriental wisdom" is unsatisfactory: 1949-55 


a) on the idea of Matter (regarded as a kind of "jail", and not as a 

"matrix" of Soul and Spirit; 271 

b) on the idea of Oneness (regarded, in spite of verbal statements, as the 
result of an "identification" resulting itself in a fusion (instead of a re-inforce- 
ment, through love) of the elementary "ego". 

c) on the idea of evolution (implicitely reduced to an individual process 
of "perfection", — no consideration being given to the probability of a steady and 
universal birth of consciousness, through a better arrangement of "Matter", in the 
World as a whole). 

When Swami Nikhil. speaks of God (what kind of God? "conscious and 
supra-personal? or unconscious and impersonal"?) "unfolding himself in the 
World process ". I suspect that this expression "World process" has not much 
more meaning for him than for a Roman theologian. 

But I know that on this ground I may be prejudiced, and wrong. 

In a way or another, the only thing which counts, for me, is the develop- 
ment in human Consciousness of a superior form of Love, able to act as a "univer- 
sal" motor for human activity. What I object to the Eastern mystics is a tendency 
to undermine true Love by a deep-set confusion between a pantheism of identifi- 
cation (excluding love, by structure "God M") and a pantheism of unification 
(based upon Love: "God All in AW ). If I am unfair to them, I am ready to apolo- 

Besides, nothing much. Nothing from Frangoise (apparently O.K. in 
Ismatliah). Nardi (do you remember him) has succeeded in leaving Peking, and is 
now a Lyon, jobless. He wrote me that Monestier (and Bussiere?) could not get 
their visa (when the visa is granted, one has to leave within 24 hours!). Pei is the 
head of the Geological Survey(!).—Met]anine Dubosc in the street —unchanged. 
Leroy will be back from Chicago next summer. 

And my plans are the same. Leaving Paris at the beginning of July, — if 
nothing happens before. To watch on me in South Africa, I am counting on Bar- 
bour and Rhoda. — Then, if God permits, New-York, — to see Fejos and the 
Viking Fund. 

Good bye, dearest. You don't tell me how you can work. Hope that every- 
thing is all right in this field. 

God bless you! 



321 East 58th Street 
New York 22, April 3, 1951 


The beautiful little book arrived just in time for my Easter, and I do thank you so 
much for sending it to me. It is very beautiful and I feel almost as if I had a new friend. I 
have not read it all yet, but enough to get the whole quality of your dear sister. What an 
inspiration she is. 





I did not write to you immediately because I guess it is a sort of flu that I've had 
and just did not feel up to letters last week — and still do not feel very well It seems so 
hard to get wer it once it really gets hold of you. 

And yesterday I received your very good letter of March 29. It was good of you to 
read that thing ofNikhilananda's and to write so fully about it, naturally I'm SO inter- 
ested in what you say. I don't think your are (juitefair to him. He belongs to the same 
group (?) that Aldous Huxley is interested in — and as I understand him, his beliefs are 
more like yours than anything that I have found. I want so much to answer your objec- 
tions, but would like to think more about it first. I realize that some of the things seem to 
me not important in as far as LIVING is concerned — they seem (your objections) to do 
with the remote inner workings that are so often interpreted to suit one's temperament. 
However, as you know I am NOT a theologian, nor very interested in them. The main 
thing I get is that we have to achieve the world through our efforts of work, research, arts, 
etc. And the closer we are to God, the better will be the results of our efforts. And they help 
to show you how to feel God and to be closer to Him. I mean in the way of meditation and 
reading and thinking and self-discipline — things that I have not found in Christian 
teaching. Or do you know any books that give one that kind of help? And as for LOVE! I 
wish I could understand what you mean by it. It seems to me that both Christian nations 
and individuals TAKE what they want and to hell with the other fellow. But probably I'm 
feeling pretty low today so this is not the time to answer these things. For I'm really SO 
very keen about what you say of discovering an "appropriate psychic energy", etc. We 
MUST find that energy if Life is to go on — or rather Evolution — and to unveil the face 
of the God needed for radiating that energy, and, Pierre, tlte USUAL Christian God is 
NOT big enough for that. We must find a greater face for HIM, and while I admit so much 
of what you say about the Oriental wisdom in general, it seems to me this group of Vedan- 
tists comes closer to something BIG. Oh how I do wish that we could talk ..but I wonder 
when that will be??? 

Also am simply delighted that you saw and talked of the Research Institute with 
Julian Huxley . . do you feel that maybe the Viking Fund would be interested in it? 
Wouldnt it be SPLENDID if it could be realized? You MUST take part in it if it does 
materialize . . "You must"?? you know dear what I mean, I HOPE you will. 

So Mrs. de Terra is going to South Africa with you. I suppose I have known all 
along that she would, so I should not be so upset. I was SO in hopes you were going to 
have a few months of freedom to be yourself again, but probably this is what YOU want so 
I should be happy about it. I am so sorry my encounter with her last summer was so 
unsuccessful. It seems to me that now she has EVERYTHING that used to be mine, the 
daily visits, the sharing of all the intimate things and friends — well, all that makes life 
sweet and worthwhile, now that she has it all she could be a little more generous so that I 
could feel happier about your being with her so constantly. Perhaps this is also a part of 
the lesson that I have to learn. And you can see I have not yet conquered my EGO or I 
would not still feel so unhappy about it all. Am glad that Barbour is going, or is he? 

Malvina Hoffman came in to see me the other day. I thot she looked very tired . . . 
and she talked all the time about her husband . . which is rather strange as I really do not 
know her so well . . It seems that he has married his psycho-analyst . . I dont know how 
recently ..but he is still very dear to her and I could see that her heart was not happy. I 
guess all Life is like that., so I dont know why we should expect anything else. 

As for my work? Yes, I work every day, and sometimes I think it is good - the THEIR 
ivory is very brittle so it goes slowly - but I have just finished a group. The sort of thing I949 " 55 
that I've had in mind a long time - Brotherhood of Man - only this time Yve made female LETrERS 
figures representing the Yellow, white and black races: females, clasping hands and back of 2 73 
them a figure - not Christ exactly nor Buddha - but representing the SPIRITUAL side 
which is absolutely necessary if any "Brotherhood" is going to exist. Most everyone likes 
it, and some like it very much. The design is good; any way it is the most successful thing 
of the sort Yve done.What am I doing with it???? It is only 20 inches high . . well perhaps 
SOME day . . Ive done several small things, may be 111 have enough for a small show next 
fall..IMo Komor comes to work with me twice a week.,.and I like that. Ive been doing 
sculpture entirely is so good to have everything to work with ..and I don't know for 
how long I can have this studio . . in fact I have NO idea what I am going to do, either this 
summer or next fall . . some how I feel so sure that I will be helped to SEE what to do when 
the time comes, that I am not worrying . . The people who have the house here are going to 
California July 1st., so if the place should be taken by someone who wants the studio too, 
Yll have to go.. I'm just herefrom month to month, but Yve enjoyed the winter, and I'm 
sure things will work out. 

I shall probably write again about the Hindu stuff, and 1 know we really agree so 
much . . Forgive this letter, perhaps if I felt better I would not send it. A don't know, but I 
guess there isn't anything very much been said . . . 

God bless you and keep you well and happy. 

Paris, May the 6th/51 


So many thanks for your two letters of April 26 and May first, which 
arrived just in time for my 70(!) years. Yes, I remember so well ten years ago: the 
cocktail, and the excursion (with Eleonore, I think?) behind Pi yung ssu. Well, ifs 
getting rather old, now. For me (and for you) I pray God that it should give us the 
supreme gift "celui definir en beaute" — as a testimony for the vision to which I 
have devoted my life: the vision of an Universe converging, by its whole power of 
arrangement, into a loving oneness. -—I am so terribly glad that you should now 
become more sensitive to the "love of God". And, by all means, take light and 
warmth where you find it. Against the Swami I have nothing; except that (a tort 
ou a raison) I think that the God-Ocean (of identification) does not "radiate" 
such a true and efficient Love as a God-Centre (of unification): although I recog- 
nize that a supreme Centre has precisely the mystical proprieties of an Ocean (but 
in a "corrected" way). The essential thing is that you should feel growing, in you 
and around you, a sort of loving essence of everything, in which you could 
progress through every effort, every pain, and every joy. This is the road to happi- 

Here, in Paris, life is essentially the same. Once more I almost came in 
serious trouble with Rome on account of some unwise friend candidly showing to 
the General one of my last essays. But everything seems to be settled, by now. 
Still, I think it's Providence which sends me to South-Africa (as, before, to 
China). Better for me to disappear for a short time. Along this line, my plans keep 
provisionally the same: leaving in July, reaching N.Y. in November, to report at 





the Viking Fund. After what, a blank. Circumstances must decide. In any case, I 
am glad that you can keep your studio. With so many friends hack in America, 
you will have a pleasant summer. But what about Eleonore? Not a word from her. 
Leroy is coming back to Paris in August (by l'Ile-de-France). I think he had a suc- 
cessful time (although not particularly cheerful) in Chicago. In a letter (received 
two days ago) he tells me that Francoise was planning a trip to Chypre,for Eas- 
ter. I hope everything is all right in her prospects for next year. 

From China, news are rather grim. In Tientsin, les Hautes-Etudes are now 
taken by the new governement, — and, in Shanghai, VAurore also is "occupee". A 
complete end to the missionary work in China. So far, the native priests seem to 
behave quite well as a whole. Did I tell you that Nardi is back, —jobless and 
moneyless, in France? Monestier could not get his visa out, so far. Nor Bussiere. 
— Pei seems to be most influential (acting director) in the Geological Survey. 

I stop here: Lejay is coming to take me in his car to the Institute. 

Be happy, and God bless you! 


Paris, June the 8th, 1951 


I have just received this morning your good long letter of June 5, — and 
two days before the "Nature of the Universe". No book could bring me more inter- 
est and pleasure, just now. Of course, I am not able to have a really personal idea 
on such astro-physical subjects. But the general perspective supplies me with a 
good pattern (and the proper scale) for expressing my still growing and improving 
views on what I call "La convergence de VUnivers": this expression being used to 
express the peculiar drift towards increasing aggregation and arrangement which 
pushes selectively the Weltstojf (and forces it, somehow) into living forms. Noth- 
ing better than the discovery of this particular and peculiar movement of the Uni- 
verse in the direction of constantly higher types of arrangement (and 
consequently of consciousness) is able, I think, to create around us the special 
atmosphere we presently need in politics as well as in religion. 

And, speaking of religion, I am terribly glad that you should feel growing 
in you the sense of the universal and ever-growing presence of God. Along this 
direction, go on as freely as possible, — following your own instinct, — collect- 
ing your "honey" where you find it. Just keep in mind that "the sense of Unity" is 
a powerful energy (or, if you prefer, a very strong drink.) to be used with "dis- 
cernement"; — but that you risk nothing as long as you use this big force as an 
incentive to be more personal, more active, more "loving?. 

I am glad that you can keep your studio, — and work. I did not discuss 
your project of "Brotherhood", because it is not easy to criticize usefully a sketch: 
but I hope you have materialized some "ebauche" [rough sketch], — and I will 
love to see it this coming fall. I suppose your "Girl with fawns" is a development 
of the similar Woman with a fawn you made in Peking, some fifteen years ago. 
Funny how long it takes for an idea to take its due form. I experience it every day. 

Here, I am preparing slowly my departure: leaving England (Southamp- THEIR 
tan) an July the 12th. I was surprised to discover that, because I have been living 19 *9-55 
in China, my american visa has to be delivered by Washington! which means a 
rather long procedure. People, at the american Embassy, are helpful and charm- 275 
ing. But the red tape is there. 

Finally, things have settled down peacefully in Rome; largely, I suppose, 
because they are glad to see me deep again in the study of old bones, down there. 
Many thanks for the news about Eleonore. Well, everything is all right, since she 
has got a new car! — Malvina wrote me that she had been quite sick (sciatica,- 
etc.), but felt well again. Does not say anything about a coming to France. — Bar- 
bour will meet me in July in London, and then follow me by plane to 
Johannesburg. — A few days ago, I met in the street d'Andurain (unchanged) who 
told me that Roland de Margerie had just had a very high promotion in the For- 
eign Office. More lucky was he than the Vincents, — who, I hope, will have their 
lucky time before long, they too. 

God bless you, dearest! 


Johannesburg, Sept. 1, '51 


Since weeks I did not write you; — and yet your nice letter of June 20 
reached me in Paris just a few days before my departure. But these few days were 
precisely particularly hectic. And, since this time, I have been more or less conti- 
nously on the way, — a very bad condition for letters. 

In fact (and largely thanks to the helpful and calming presence ofRhoda) 
the journey is developing all right. Scientifically speaking, I am extremely inter- 
ested by everything I see here in the line of both continental and human genesis. 
And, as a result of this new contact with field andfieldwork, I feel a kind of men- 
tal rejuvenation (or excitation): the favourable atmosphere for a further (?) devel- 
opment of the ideas (or Weltanschaung) I try so hard to focuss and to express, 
since fifty years. 

Paris had been grey and rainy, from October to July, almost continously. 
— It was a relief and a joy, therefore, to find here, for a whole month, a perfectly 
blue sky, and a continously bright sun, with a crisp and dry air. In fact, exactly 
the Peking's weather in early spring, before the dust wind; and exactly the 
Peking's colours, too: plenty of pink blooming fruit-trees on a grey landscape. 

Since five weeks, I have taken several trips, — either northward (in the 
direction of the Limpopo), or southward (in the Kimberly area). And I feel really 
"caught" and lured by this enormous and enormously worn out country, where 
the roads and the tracks can strike, rigjht ahead, through endless "etendues" of a 
thorny jungle, — so perfectly similar to the Abyssinian bush. — A curious mix- 
ture of contrasts and similarities with dear old Asia. 

Since my departure of Paris, I am practically cut from the "thinking" 
world. Very few letters from America or Europe (this is the holidays time); and 

TEILHARD here, besides technical discussions with geologist colleagues, very few opportuni- 

& LUCILE fag f or interesting contacts. A big difference with Peking, indeed! — Probably due 

to their isolated location at the end of a continent, the people here seem to be 

275 curiously absorbed in their petty dissensions (white against natives, — Africaans 

against British, — bigotted Dutch Church against any form of spiritual liberty). 

To be stuck here for a long time would be unpleasant. For a few weeks, I 
don't mind. On the contrary, I enjoy rather the feeling to be quietly here for a 
while, — at a reasonable number of hundred of miles from Rome. A rare and fine 
opportunity to collect and consolidate oneself internally, — far from any foreign 

I wish and hope that you had a resting summer, — and a constructive 
one, too. — Substantially, my plans remain the same: to be in New'York before 
Xmas. But, due to the uncertain schedule of the boats from here to America, it is 
still impossible to fix a definite date for the journey. En tous cas, "a bientof! 

Bien affectueusement, 


New York, Nov. 29th, 1951 


At last, I have arrived, two days ago. As you can see from the envelop, I 
am located this time 980 Park Avenue (84th Street) (Butterfield 8.6200) - because 
no room for me at Riverside. In fact, the location is quite convenient, since I will 
have to work 71st str. at the Viking Foundation. — Apparently, Paris has become 
too hot for me these days; and I must try to find a shelter here for the time being. 
— I will explain you. — / may be here for months. 

Since I am rather much out, in town, give your phone number (and name) 
here, at the gate's office, if by chance they answer you that I am not home. — 

A tres bientot, 



After working about eight weeks in Africa, Teilhard set out for North America by way of 
Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, and Trinidad. As he later explained, this roundabout route 
gave him a chance to experience, at least briefly, the geological and anthropological view- 
points to be gained from the perspective of those areas. In New York City, for the winter, 
Teilhard sometimes had tea with Lucile. These visits became less and less frequent. Appar- 
ently she knew he often saw Rhoda de Terra also and told him she felt superseded. He 
pointed out that he was an old, sick man who needed care and that the role of nurse did not 
suit Lucile. Teilhard's American biographers explain the role of Rhoda de Terra at that time: 
"She kept an eye out for his health, arranged his social calendar, deposited him and picked 
him up at many of his appointments, took care of his nuisance errands, introduced him to 
her literary cousins, the Roger Strauses, and . . . avoided prying into his relations with his 
Order. (Lukas, 307)/' A selection from Teilhard's letters were published as Letters to Two 
Friends. These friends are not identified in the book; the first is Ida Treat (1926-52 letters) 
and the second is Rhoda de Terra (1938-50 letters). 

Undated THEIR 
[perhaps November 1 951 ] ^49-55 

The last evening you were here, you said that you were concerned with the love of 277 
God, and it was said, as I remember, to explain any difficulties that we may have in under- 
standing and agreeing with each other. I have been thinking about it a lot, and at least to 
me, it makes things clearer, [too am concerned with my love of God; not perhaps to the 
extent that you are but to an increasing degree. So it is not in the "WHAT" that we have 
trouble but in the "HOW"!!! There is where all our differences of opinion lie. I believe that 
by living as I think HE made me, in the midst of all His creatures, with the same problems 
and the same opportunities to err and also the same opportunities to overcome, by living to 
the fullest with all the personality that He has given me, that seems to me my duty; and 
the fullness of my life and its riches are the proof of the depth of my love. (I don't mean that 
they must be tangible riches, a most humble soul can be a complete expression of love). You 
have chosen another path, more sheltered and more concentrated. Dearest dont think I am 
trying to compare us; you have gone so infinitely much further than I . . that if that were 
all that was necessary to prove the superiority of your WAY, well you would win without 
an argument . . Also I really am not trying to argue . . Im only writing this out to try to 
make my thoughts more clear . . and if by chance there is something new, or at least 
expressed differently, then naturally I want to share it with you. As I want to share every- 
thing that is beautiful with you . . That was one thing that was so very hard when you left 
..I am so glad dearest that you are going to see that glorious country, and I couldnt help 
wanting dreadfully to see it with you... 

It seems to me that your way limits most everything!!! It limits your own possi- 
bilities of life - a large and important part of your personality is left untouched or unculti- 
vated . . . Which does seem to matter IN YOU, for you have so much, you are so rich, IN 
SPITE of this. All our difficulties come through the problem of finding a working ground 
for these two WAYS. It seems to me that yours limits us - but you do not think that it does, 
so then perhaps the problem is mine principally — to see always more clearly your way. I 
know that it is my blindness that makes the difficulty . . not entirely, for you too sometimes 
do not see clearly. Probably I am too much concerned with temporal things, without realiz- 
ing how deeply my wants may lead us from the ultimate achievement of a perfect love of 
God. Through habit I take certain things for granted, just as you take other things. You are 
trying a new path which you think has greater possibilities, and I still think that the old 
way of living as completely as we can the ordinary life and rising above it is the greater 
good. It is all because I do not fully understand your way. You cannot separate your love of 
God from LIFE, but how much you can give to another Ufe is still not clear. But the fact 
that we are really wanting the same end may make it easier for us to understand and amal- 
gamate our two points of view. How much can we share to the greatest good of all is the 
problem. Which seems to me to mean, how much can we unite, where do you put the limit? 
You have often said there is no limit to the amount we may love, how is that love to express 
itself? Isn't love uniting? You have said in "personalistic Universe" "It is most important 
to give full expansion to the love created by two human beings". It is to understand the 
deepest meaning of these things that I am giving my thoughts. I know you have not found 
answers to all my questions but I want you to believe that always I am trying to work with 
you, not argue against you. You always say "have patience" and you must be right, for 
surely I see more than I did a year ago, probably next year I shall see even more. 

TEILHARD Glacier Park, Aug. 14, 1952 


I write you without any table under my pad, - so you must excuse my 
278 handwriting. Since weeks I have left you without any news, and you may wonder 
what is happening to me. Nothing wrong, — on the contrary. But the constant 
agitation of a journey, which, on the whole, has been extremely pleasing, — more 
interesting, in fact, than I expected. — On my way out, I spent two days with the 
George Gaylord Simpsons, in their nice little house, in New Mexico; and Dr. Sim- 
pson introduced me to the most famous geological formations of the San Juan 
Basin. — Then, I settled at Berkeley, where I renewed close contact with Chancy, 
Camp, Stirton, and others. Mrs Camp was near Santa Barbara (where her grand' 
children had measles), — and I did not see her. — Met von Lessing, twice; — and 
saw a good deal the Bardacs, absolutely unchanged, — and perfectly happy in a 
nice appartement. Jacques is now a la Banque d'lndochine, and vaguely hopes to 
spend a few months in France (Mrs. Coatman is living in the Jacques "garcon- 
nikre" rue Galilee, in Paris, — and has bought for Jacques an appartement in 
Passy). — Presently, I am spending a few days in Glacier Park, in order to see 
some critical geological formation (the exact equivalent and replica of the "Sin- 
ian" beds ofNankou, in the Western Hills). - Then I plan to spend a few more 
days in Maine (at the holidays place of a sister ofRhoda), — my return to N.Y. 
being arranged for the first days of September. — By that time, you will already 
be in Europe (Majorque?). I wish this new experience will give you afresh creative 
impulsion. And, knowing you, I think it will —Personally, I come back from this 
trip with a still clearer perception of what can be the final contribution of my life: 
namely to promove in Man a more distinct consciousness of the big "cosmic" 
movement which forces and attracts Mankind to converge (to "reflect") more and 
more on himself — I feel so much more convinced, — even after these few weeks 
of new experiences — that any advance along the line of this new humanism 
means a complete "renaissance" of human behaviour and human power of adora- 
tion. — No news from Rome (I hope the people here will keep quiet, since I am 
apparently concentrating on Sciences). Aux Etudes, Jouve is more and more sick 
(now the heart seems to yield.), and is confined in the hospital, rue Oudinot. You 

know how much I like him. 

Good-bye, good journey! have a grand and fruitful time! and God bless 
you for everything! 

En grande affection 

Sometime in early (?) November, Lucile returned from a painting trip with Flo Davidson 
(wife of the sculptor Jo Davidson). Subsequently in a brief journal entry she noted that a 
lunch with Teilhard had been "all wrong." 

New York, Nov. the 30 1952 
My dear Lucile, 

Next Wednesday, I am not free, as I expected to be. — Will you not be THEIR 
angry with me if I come only the following Wednesday (December 10th)? 1949-55 

In fact, I might force somewhat my schedule of the week, and see you 
before. — But, after a year of experience, I wonder whether it would not be better 279 
and more constructive, for both of us, if I spaced a little my visits. — To see you is 
good for me. But, at the same time, it still disturbs me. 

Maybe, with some "spacing? as I say, the strain will disappear and the 
relationship between you and me will become (as it can and must be) a really 
conforting and relaxing friendship. — We still have so much to receive from each 
other and to give! 

Shall we try? — still going ahead, for God and Peace? 

Please, do not read in these lines anything but an effort to keep us 
together in a more stable and constructive way. Pardon me if, unwillingly, I hurt 


And in any case believe me 



Teilhard called on Lucile the day after Christmas; Lucile's note on her calendar was suc- 
cinct "Nice". 

Jan. 8th, '53 

Dear Lucile, 

Finalement, ma fin de semaine est Finally, my week end has been 
plus occupee que je ne pensaisl. (Peut- busier than I thought! . . . (Perhaps, 
itre mime vais-je me decider a un now even, I am going to make up my mind 
vel essai pour me separer de mon "par- to do another essay to get rid of my 
asite", — Asmodee, je I'appelle, en "pa rasite " - * cal1 il Asmcxtee, in mem- 
souvenir des exorcismes de Loudun, - ory of the exorcismes of Loudun, cf. 
c.f. A. Huxley). A.Huxley). 

I will telephone you at the beginning of the next week. — Friday the 16th 
would be a good day for me. — I will bring you the book and a separate. 

No fresh news from Paris. I hope you have heard, by now, from the Vin- 
cents. And I hope mostly that you are in a creative mood. — Moi-meme je tourne 
autour d'un sujet d' article: but I could not catch it exactly so far. I will explain 



The "Asmodee" of Teilhard's January 8th note is the evil spirit known as Ashmadai in Jew- 
ish demonology. 

TEILHARD Jan. 18, 1953 

CORRESPOND d Pierre, 1 wish we could be at ease with each other! There are so many things 1 

would like to discuss with you. For instance, I was just reading the following, "According 

280 to Hindu theory of evolution, nothing is superadded in the course of evolution, but what is 

only potentially existing becomes unfolded. The whole of the tree potentially exists in the 

seed. Swami V. rightly defined religion as the manifestation of divinity already in man. To 

unfold this divinity already existing within is the end of evolution and the goal of life. 

Does this differ very much from your thought? It seems tome to be the core of what I 

believe. "The kingdom of heaven is within us". 

I have no practical suggestions for seeing each other. It seems to me that is 
YOUR problem. But any real friendship must be built on honesty and MUTUAL consid- 

If it is all too difficult for you, at least let us not stop on a note of accusations and 
confusion. There has been too much creative beauty in the past. And besides we know that 
above all else we are both trying to realize God in this life, and that our way to this realiza- 
tion is through Jesus Christ, even though I do not always understand His meaning. But to 
me He means Faith and Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is love. And as you have 
so often written and said to me, the more we love God, the more we can love each other 
(and in the best way). 

May God give you Peace, Pierre. 

As always, 

January 20/53 


I have well received your sweet letter of Sunday. 

In a few days, I will try to write and suggest you a few constructive 
views, — with the help of God. 

In any case, as you say, it should not be (and it will not be) any bitter- 
ness, nor any confusion. 

But only, for both of us, more Peace and a higher vision. 

Just now, may you be in Peace, too. 



New-York, Jan. 24, 1953 
Lucile dear, 

Since your letter reached me, I have been thinking (and also praying) over 
the kind of "impasse" in which we find ourselves: a paradoxical situation, 
indeed, since it should be so simple for two people who have such deep feelings of 
friendship for one another to be talking and thinking constructively together. 

Well, emotions are strange. And the truth is that we still disturb each 
other whereas, both of us, we need absolutely "peace". 

Last year, we have tried frequent meetings; and it was not so good. 
Should we try to meet less often, — let us say once a month? Maybe, if we have a 
definite, but spaced, time for our meetings we shall have so much to talk about 
than we can keep, naturally, on an even emotional plane. 


Now, maybe you will not feel that my solution is ysM solution. If so, THEIR 
you must tell me. And if, fust now, meetings are too disturbing, there are always j^^ r 
letters. Write me one of those anyway. And tell me whether we shall meet the 
next month. And, if we do, let us try to have a grand time chatting about our 281 
projects, and about Eastern versus Western conceptions of Evolution, and look- 
ing at your paintings, which I like more and more. 

God bless you, Lucile, and may He help our common effort towards the 
development of an ever loving World! 

yours always 


— The Wiley's have telephoned me. I see them tomorrow. 

— Received also a phone call (yesterday) from Claire Tadjan (Hirschberg). She is 
apparently now, with a job, in Brooklyn. I will probably see her before long. 

January 31, 1953 

Dear Pierre, 

Thank you for your nice letter. I also have been thinking and praying about us 
and trying to understand the situation. 

I know I have been very much at fault. When I have so sincerely thought that I 
had conquered my Ego, some little thing happens and it is as if the Devil rushes in and 
takes possession of me and pulls out all the stops of pride and vanity and jealousy and pos- 
sessive-love, all of them — as you know only too well. So until I have really mastered 
myself, there is no use in our trying to meet. I must read and meditate and pray — / don't 
know how long it will take— a month, two months? Sometimes I get very discouraged at 
the Slowness of my spiritual progress. But I want it so much, and I know God will help 
me. IF I do my part. If you have any suggestions for reading or discipline, I should be most 
grateful for them. 

And thank you for what you say about my painting. I have just started a new 
canvas of the arched street in Morocco. It poses a lot of problems, but I am having a grand 
time with it — am also doing a statuette, small portrait which I had promised some time 
ago. So I am busy. 

My darling cousin Mary Wood Gilbert spent a week with me from the 18th to the 
25th. I love her dearly — so that was very nice. We had some fine times. This afternoon I 
go to the Bill Mayers — and then to the Clubbsfor dinner. So the days are going too fast. 

I am sure that you understand my position. It seems to me the only thing to do, 
and it is I think always wonderful to hear from you. And may I write for a date when I 
think the time has come? 

The Viking Fund 
New York, February 3, 1953 

Lucile dear, 

Thank you for your sweet and perfect letter of yesterday. 

I needed it, and it was full of peace. 

Because it seems to me that we are now closer to God. 





Write me when you like (when you feel it is time). 
I am always there. 

Good luck for the new canvas! I am waiting for an inspiration myself. 

Three weeks later, on the morning of February 28th, Teilhard telephoned Lucile. Later that 
day she wrote on her calendar, "He said he was not well so he needed my help." They met 
in her studio apartment where she showed him her new work — the canvas he had 
referred to on February 3. She was pleased by his enthusiastic response. 

March 2 f 1953 

FT, dearest friend, 

No word from this morning which I hope means that you are getting along well 

I just want to repeat what 1 said to you the other day, that you must go on as you 
have been with Rhoda, and there not be any "shadow" between you. 

At LONG last, I think my prayers are being answered, and I am beginning to feel 
more free than I have for a very long time, and this will bring a real peace. 

As for coming to see me this week, you must feel absolutely no pressure about it. 
Only if you feel well enough and would like a discussion about the East and West — or 
anything — but there is no hurry about it, so take your time. Only let me know whether to 
expect you on Friday either by phone or send a note. It would be nice to have a word to 
know haw you are getting along. 

May God bless you and make you well and happy. 

I place my hands upon your head and give you my deep and loving blessing — 
and to Rhoda too. 




The Viking Fund 
March 14th 1953 

Lucile dear, 

Just a few lines to tell you that I still do not feel well in my nerves, — but 
that I do not forget you. In fact, if something may help my cure, it is to know that 
you are happy and working constructively. Write me everything you are doing, 
because I should like to keep in touch with you and telephoning seems to be still 
straining my nerves. I am impatient with myself, and one of the reasons I want so 
much to be well again is that I feel that when we resume our little meetings 
everything will be clearer and stronger for us than since a long while. 

Nothing new as far as I am concerned. I try to advance little by little the 
scheme of my book. But my ideas are not much clear at this time. Received a let' 
terfrom my cousin. Nothing about the Begouens. 

THsaffectueusement, THEIR 

as ever, UTTERS 


New-York, March 24, 1953 

Lucile dear, 

Merci, tellement,for your sweet letter of March 18. It brought me warmth 
and peace: just what I still need so much these present days. Dr. Simard keeps 
quite optimistical on my condition. In fact I am still the easy prey of the most 
amazing variety of "anxieties", — an old disease of mine, which (if only I was a 
more spiritual man!) should force me into an evergrowing "abandon" in the 
hands of God. Pray for me. I am praying for you. 

Otherwise, I try to keep working and reading in the line of my book(?) on 
the Future of Man. And, so doing, I become more and more convinced that, "after 
a million of years" (as Ch. Galton-Darwin puts it in his recent booklet, at Dou- 
bleday) the whole human evolutive activity will be so deeply charged with (and 
transformed by) new energies of a "mystical" type (Sense of the Universe, Sense 
of Evolution, Sense of the Species, Sense of God) that nothing can be distinctly 
forseen by us today, — but everything expected. This is the very point overlooked 
both by C. Darwin and Julian Huxley ("Evolution in Action"). Received lately a 
very nice letter of J. Huxley, by the way. 

Autre chose, rather annoying. Unexpectedly the doctors have discovered 
that Rhoda has developped a rather large "fibrome" (not malignant); and she will 
be operated on April 1st (at the Doctors Hospital, East 86th Str.). In the 
occurence, she is extraordinary calm, a large half of this calm being derived from 
a peculiar sense of the presence and the action of "God", which I feel ashamed not 
to experience at the same extent. I know you will "pray" for her. Normally, she 
should not stay longer than ten days in the hospital. 

A week ago, I have seen Ida: en excellente forme. She had a letter (a good 
one) from Simone, who is in Casa (Max was still en Guinee). 

A bientot d'autres nouvelles, amie. Tell me if you are going to be in town 
around Eastern. I must see your new paintings. 

En grande affection, 


The Viking Fund 
New York, April 3, 1953 

Dear Lucile, 

Just a few lines on this remarkable paper to thank you for your sweet let- 
ter of March 30, — and to tell you that (unless something unexpected does hap- 
pen) I will come to see you next Wednesday, vers 3 o'clock. 

Finally, and for an accidental reason, the operation of Rhoda had to be 
postponed. She will be operated at the beginning of the next week. I admire more 
and more her quiet reaction to the "evenements" — in spite, of course, of the disa- 






Today I am going to Trick's at Roslyn (Long Island) We did not see each 
other since a long time; and he is anxious to show me his last palaeontological 

Received a letter from my cousine. No special news, except that she seems 
to have found an interesting (or even captivating) subject of work (the life of 
somebody, some hundred years ago, I understand). And that is probably what she 
needed the most just now: a constructive interest for her mind. 

A very happy Easter day to you! 

En grande affection, 


NX, April 18th, 1953 

Lucile, dear, 

Since I saw you the days have passed in such an unpredictable way that I 
made no plans. — In the meantimes Rh. got a slight complication, — so that she 
is still in the hospital (much better, however). 

I will phone you next Tuesday or Wednesday, to decide with you for an 

On the whole, I feel better, and I can work with a clearer mind. Still, there 
is need and room for more "peace & drive". — You will help me with both. 

Bien affectueusement 

as ever 


NX, May 8, 1953 

Lucile, dear, 

Day after tomorrow, you will probably be out town. - 

These few lines to wish you a happy birthday! And, whatever might be 

the value of my mass, — to tell you that my mass of the 10th will be for you: 

— that the Presence of God should keep on growing in you; 

— that, in the light, the warmth, and the peace of this Presence we should 
help each other and keep "converging' constructively! 

To many returns! 

En grande affection, 


Next week, the best day for me to see you 

would be Friday (3 p.m.). — Phone me 

at the Foundation if the day is inconvenient for you.! 

On June 21st Lucile noted in her Line A Day: "Nice dinner/' It was probably their last visit 
before Teilhard left for South Africa. In August he wrote to her at the Thousand Islands 
resort area on the upper St. Lawrence where she was vacationing. 

Johannesburg, August 14, 1953 1 Langham Hotel (up to Sept 20) THEIR 

DearLucile, UTTERS 

Since almost a month, I am back in Africa. It is more than time that I 
should send you some news about the journey. You, you probably are in the peace 285 
of the Thousand Islands. I, I am once more, not exactly in the field, but in close 
contact with old mother Earth: and you know that, for me, there is no better way 
for rejuvenation, and even "adoration". So that we are not so far apart as it 
would seem. 

So far, everything is going all right in my trip. Between New-York and 
Capetown, the crossing was long (no stop at all, and nothing in sight, for IS days, 
except the small islands of Ascension and St. Helena); but the boat, although 
small, was perfectly confortable, and we have entered Capetown by a "spring' 
day. In fact, we had still a few cold winter days a week ago. But here, on the high 
and dry plateau, the atmosphere is so dry and the sky so blue (exactly like in 
Peking) that even a little freezing is not unpleasant. 

Here I have found back, with a real joy, a warm group of fellow geolo- 
gists and palaeontologists; and I have the comforting feeling that 1 can really do 
something in directing the Wenner-Gren financial blood to the right places. Since 
two years, the problems concerning Early Man have certainly become clearer in S. 
Africa; and an eager team of young searchers is just there, ready to be used. Some- 
what a duplication of the situation I have found in China thirty years ago! A few 
days ago, I have re-visited (some 300 miles of here) a small "Choukoutien" where 
exhaustive excavations have been started in april, with the support of the Wen- 
ner-Gren Foundation. Most interesting, — although no human bony remains have 
been found so far. In a week, I plan to go to N. Rhodesia in order to visit another 
strategic place. All this keeps me busy, — without preventing me (on the con- 
trary) from maturing further on, as much as I can, the "philosophical" and reli- 
gious side of my ideas. As you know, Early Man, for me, is only the gate leading 
to "Future" Man, — the existence of such a "Future Man" being, in my opinion, 
the strongest foundation on which to build the new faith in God which is so 
urgently needed by the Man of today. — I have outlined, these very days, the 
sketch of a new paper. One more 

From France, very few news (no wonder, now, with the strike!) Everybody 
I know is out of Paris, just now. The old Comte Begouen sent me a most touching 
letter (he is now 90 years old), — but without giving me any news of Max and 
Simone (I don't even know whether they have come to France this summer). My 
cousine seems to be quite interested (et tneme passionnee) by writing a book on 

Here, as you may suppose, Rhoda is of an immense help for me. In fact 
she helps me a lot, even in my work for the Foundation, on the most essential 
social and psychological planes, — a plane where, as you know, probably, I am 
not particularly gifted. - 

In the meantime, I hope and pray that you find more and more peace and 

God bless you! 


TEILHARD New York, Nov. 21, 1953 

CORRESPOND V*™ £««'*/ 

God bless you for your kind and sweet letter of yesterday. Your lines 

286 brought me strength and peace. — 

As you know, I am not much interested in myself. — But I am anxious 
that my whole life should help "everything" to become One, — the true. One. 
Yours as ever 

et a bientot 


In late November of 1953, Teilhard learned that "Piltdown Man" was an elaborate hoax. (T. 
had worked briefly at the Sussex fossil site in 1912-13.) J.A.Wiener, the anthropologist, 
who uncovered Dawson's apparent forgery dismisses as "rubbish" Stephen Jay Gould's 
charge in 1980 that Teilhard had collaborated in the famous hoax. 

See also Charles Blinderman, The Piltdown Inquest (Prometheus Books, 1986); 
Frank Spencer, Piltdown: Scientific Forgery (Oxford University Press, 1990); and Philip 
Tobias, "On Piltdown: The French Connection Revisited," Current Anthropology, Vol. 34, No. 
1, February 1993. 

New-York, Dec. 13. 1953 


These few lines to tell you that 1 am just back from the Chapelle, where I 
said (as every 13 of Dec, "Sainte Lucie") my mass for you. That you should have 
ever more incentive for your work, — peace in your soul, — "Presence" of God 
everywhere in you and around you. That we should, up to the end, help each other 
in the fascinating effort to approach "le Coeur des Choses". — 

Last week, I have been rather busy (a visit of my friend Alberto Blanc, the 
prehistorian-geologist of Rome). — I shall phone you on Tuesday, so that we 
decide for a next reunion, — as soon as possible. 

En grande affection 


My cousine wrote me that the Begouens are in Paris, -recuperating. Simone still 
rather weak. 

I have been distressed and angry in reading the papers a week ago (J.P. Davies)!! 

Teilhard's reference to John Paton Davies was a reaction to the tense, "red" hunting days 
presided over by Senator Joseph McCarthy. China hands John Carter Vincent, Edmund O. 
Chubb, and John Service were also smeared by anti-communist zealots. 

December 20, 1953 

Dear Pierre, 

Do you think that some day we might have a CALM talk about "us." We meet 
and act as if nothing had ever existed between us . . until just as we are parting some 
chance remark brings on others and the time being so short and the feeling of pressure so 

great, things are said that are too strong or not explicit and there is never time to under- THEIR 
stand, so we part with a feeling of frustration and ill ease, you must feel it too. 1949-55 

Is it an impossible situation? You were the strongest influence in my life for 
nearly 20 years and a VERY deep one. Since 1948 1 have tried to make a whole new pic- 287 
ture. I know I have not been very quick nor very clever, but God knows I have tried. And I 
have acquired a real inner Peace, which is necessary for me, as well as for you. 

I know that we want sincerely to help each other, is that possible? And how? It 
was you who put me in the role of mother, but when I have told you things which seemed 
to me to be less than your best self, I feel that I have no right to say them, in fact I am so 
uncertain of where I stand with you that it makes it doubly hard to act wisely. 

I know that you do not like to analyze situations, but don't you think we would 
all be happier if you faced this one when you are well and calm? If you do not want to talk 
with me, can you write it? 

This is only a suggestion. If you do not feel it is good - skip it. 

Today after church I stopped in at the Guggenheim museum to see an exhibit of 
avant avant gard painters from France, well Europe. Most of them seemed to me so empty, 
so thin. I don't suppose we could ever see them together . . but stop in some time and tell 
me what you think . . it seems so in line with the Rostand book . . It must reflect what the 
young are thinking and feeling . . 

The Christmas season makes one feel rather alone and a bit sentimental, I guess 
which may exaggerate things. But please believe that this is written with a real desire to 
create a constructive relationship between us. If for any reason you think that not possible, 
let's face the thing. I do not feel very happy about the way things are now, I am so uncer- 
tain about what is wanted or expected of me, so I cannot know how to act and —well, that 
is it —can I be ME? I don't want always to have to ACT. 

God bless you and give us both wisdom. 



N.Y., January 1, 1954 

Dear Lucile 

This is to wish you — dufond du coeur — a happy 1954. May God, during 
this new year, bring us closer to Him, — and to each other of us. 

What I want mostly to tell you today is how much I hope that our 
friendship will soon find its true, constructive and progressing form; — and how 
much, also, the only ultimate goal and interest of my life remains (more and more 
. . .) the "praying discovery" of an ever more divine God. — Along this line, let us 
progress, helped by each other, — and converge. 

I still feel a bit shaky, these days. So I think it wiser for me (and perhaps 
for you?) to wait a little before coming to see you. 

But be sure that I am there, just the same; — and tell me if I can do any- 
thing for you. 

Enfidele affection 


I was so sorry, and I thought immediately of you, when I heard of the death of 
Ralph Linton. 

TEHHARD January 5, 1954 


Thank you far your sweet letter — I have wanted to write too. — I was so sure 

288 "it" could not happen again — but it did. It was a great blow to me to realize that my 

grasp of spiritual truths was not stronger It made me feel very discouraged and depressed 

far some days, but I suppose it is through mistakes that we learn, and God has helped me 

to see more clearly and to put my heart more completely into loving Him. 

At least I found out that my emotions (though misdirected are not dead!! But I 
am terribly sorry if you have suffered by this "misdirection". 

And thank you for your good wishes for the New Year — I do so wish the same 
far you and that we both shall find our way to God and can help each other. Surely we can 
do this calmly and constructively. It is such a strong thing in each of us. 
Please believe me your humble and sincere fellow-seeker of God. 

P.S. I have decided to enclose a note I wrote some days ago* If it does not help, I do not see 
that it can do any harm — I do so want a really constructive relationship. 

Lucile's "Line A Day" note on January 11th reads "Good final (?) letter to FT". However, it 
was not a final letter. 

Jan. 14 1954 

Lucile dear, 

I have received yesterday only your sweet letter ofjan.ll, — just when I 
was going to answer the precedent one. 

I think you are absolutely right in your diagnosis — except that I would 
put it in a slightly different way. In the "Chinese phase" of our life, not only you 
needed me — but we needed each other. - And now, apparently, we need each other 
(and we can help each other) in a different way, which will show itself with the 
time: I believe it, and I pray for it 

In the meantimes I am so happy that your heart should be "full". That 
helps mine to be so. 

God bless you (and your work). 

(My book progresses, — slowly ) 

New York, March 2, 1954 
Lucile dear, 

So many thanks for your nice letter of yesterday. I was terribly silent, but 
I pray for you every day too. In fact, my nerves are stupidly somewhat tense these 
days. But I try to forget it, and to lean on God, — the closer for it. 

*No copy of this note was found among Lucile's papers. 

In the meantimes, my booklet advances slowly, but continously. I hope THEIR 

to have finished it on about Easter, But what am I going to do with it? I will dis- 1949 ~ 55 

cuss the case with my friends and superiors in France, this summer. In fact, in my 

opinion, the time would be just ripe for a publication, — except for the unfortu- 289 
nate circumstance that the "priest-workmen" affair renders the religious atmo- 
sphere pretty tense in Europe, just now. And yet is not the core of the problem 
right there: "What has to be a priest, henceforth, in order to be a real priest of the 
New-God for a New-World?" Even if I can publish nothing of my book, I am 
decided, the coming summer, to write down a completely sincere report on what I 
feel, hope and believe (in the line of Christianity), and to have this report pre- 
sented to the highest authorities in my Church (or at least of my Order). I think I 
was never attached more deeply that I am now to Christ But never also have I 
seen Him so clearly and passionately as a "Super-Christ". 

I am extremely glad to hear that your painting is progressing. Good luck 
for the next week! 

At St. Ignatius (Park Ave.) they start new constructions, — so that I am 
obliged to search for another shelter. A big nuisance. I wonder whether they have 
a room for me at Riverside. Anyhow, I shall find something somewhere. I will let 
you know. 

God bless you, and your work, and everything for you. 

yours, as always, 

April 16 1954 

Dear Lucile, 

These few lines to thank you for your card from Boston, — and to tell you 
that I do not forget you. — May you have, in the deepest of your heart, a very, 
very sunny Easter Day! I know you are wishing the same for me. — 

Why is it I should still feel somewhat too tense? God knows better, I sup- 
pose. The main thing is that, in the process, 1 should feel Him always closer, and 
warmer, and unique. — And, I think, He does. 

In the meantimes my booklet on Man is finished; and I am busy re-typing 
it duefully. I can't really say how good it is. But, at least, compared with the 
other book published on the same subject since two years, it is "different". This 
summer, in Paris, I will explore the chances for a publication. - Not much hope. 

"Fundamentalists" have still the upper hand, it seems, both in France and 
in Rome. But, underneath, I am convinced that the "new God" is irresistibly 
growing, — from the very development of the present World. 

God bless you, Lucile! 

as ever, 

April 24, 1954 

Dear P.T. 

Thank you for your sweet letter and Easter greeting. 

TEILHARD It is splendid that the book is finished and you know how greatly I hope that it 

& LUC1LE w m fo published __ N t only for you but for all the others who would benefit so much by 

CORRESPOND jjjj j j 

it. 1 hope I shall be able to read it some day. It is strange that the Fundamentalists should 

290 be so strong now — when a vital new vision is so sorely needed. The church here seems a 

bit less enthusiastic lately about McC /Joseph McCarthy]/ thank goodness. 

1 am planning to go to Mallorca ]uly 20 for a few months. I hope to do a lot of 
painting. Floss [Mrs. Jo Davidson] is coming down from Paris to join me. She wants me 
to stay with her in Paris later, but I doubt that I shall go there at all. However, my plans 
are not very definite for the return. When do you go to France? and for how long? I do 
hope I shall see you before you go. 

lam so sorry, Pierre, that you are still "tense" but if it brings you closer to God, 
that is much. His ways and man's are not always easy to understand, but it is wonderful 
when we can realize that they are His Will. 

Again many thanks to you for all the wonderfully happy times we had together 
— and even more for helping me to try to realize God and stimulating my desire to find a 
more spiritual way of life. That is always most precious. 

As always, 

Your devoted and loving, 


It is almost your birthday again — have a very happy day. 

The Viking Fund 
New York, May 7. 1954 

Dear Lucile, 

Thank you so much for your nice letter of April 24. — This one to tell you 
that my mass of May 9 will be for you, — as every year; —for you and some- 
what, at the same time for me, so that we should at last! find "each other" in the 
best and the highest possible way. 

Pardon my silence. 1 am still groping for myself. — But I am convinced 
that we are "converging" upward, all right. 

I am leaving for France at the beginning of June (coming probably back in 
September — with Leroy — who has to do some work in Chicago). — You can 
always reach me aux Etudes (15 - rue Monsieur). 

Et, bien entendu, 1 shall see you before I leave. 

Bonne fete! 



PS. In fact, I am going to France with "mixed" feelings. — 
My hope however is that this contact with Europe will 
help me tofocuss better where and how to direct the next 
(and ultimate?) effort of my life. 

My booklet is finished. I will try to have it published 
in some technically scientific series, — without having 
to ask any special permission of my Order. 

New-York, Oct. 3, '54 THEIR 

DearLucile, LETrERS 

I wonder where, when (or even whether) these lines will reach you . . . 
But I want to write them anyhow in order to thank you so much for your sweet 291 
letter from Majorca (august 8!) which has been forwarded to me here only lately. 
— Yes, I think that we have reached, you and me, this new and constructive type 
of friendship, — where everything is strength and peace in a closer presence and 
approach of God. Let us go ahead! I am so happy to feel that you feel, yourself, 
creative and happy. I shall be much interested, when seeing your new paintings. 

As far as I am concerned, I am back to America since August 16. These 
two months in Paris were useful, but somewhat hectic: too many people to see in 
too short a time! —And yet, at the beginning of August, I felt that I had better to 
leave: nobody, practically, was left in town; — the Etudes were closing for a 
month; — and Rome was not particularly satisfied of my presence in France . . . 
Better, I thought, not to be too greedy for a first time. — In fact, I was able, dur- 
ing these few weeks, to renew many dear, or useful, connections, — especially 
with my Order, both in Paris and Lyon. And my friend Prof. Piveteau (Sorbonne) 
took immediately for his review ("Les Annales de Paleontologie") my manuscript 
on Man. — The whole thing may be printed and published at the very beginning 
of 1955. — Evidently, very few people read "Les Annales de Paleont." But, to be 
published in such a highly technical Revue is a kind of guarantee for me that the 
theologians will ignore the paper, — or not frown too much at it. — And I have 
ordered a rather large number of separates. — We shall see... 

I saw Max and Simone (who spent august and September at Brehat). 
Simone'sfoot was better; but she looks more and more frail. And yet she keeps 
smiling, - just as before. - My cousin Marguerite was just finishing her book on 
Lincoln (Lincoln as seen by a French, for the frenchmen . . .); I found her remark- 
ably well — both physically and morally. 

Here, I am still out of St. Ignatius (the buildings will not be completed 
before May). So we have decided (Fr. de Breuvery and me) to settle in a double 
room appartement at Hotel Fourteen (East 60th St). Everything going all right, so 

I hope this letter will reach you. 

Be happy, and God bless you! 


New-York, Nov. 7, '54 


So many thanks for your "lettre d'arrivee"! — lam deeply glad that your 
summer was such a success, — and that you should come back refreshed for more 
art, and more "meditation". — Since I wrote you, I had some interesting experi- 
ences (at the end of October) in the course of the symposium of Columbia Univer- 
sity ("Bicentenary"). — I will tell you that, — and many other things too, — as 
soon as possible. I am expecting Leroy (from Chicago) at the beginning of the 

TEILHARD week; and Wenner-Grett himself is expected at the Foundation, these days (re: 
m fJ^^ some news plans, for a new symposium (!?). 

I shall phone you. — Or you can phone me (as usual, before noon, at the 
292 Foundation). — 


Yours, as ever 

November 30, 1954 

Dear FT, 

I might have given you a wrong impression on Friday and, I want to assure you, 
that what I wish for you above everything else is that you should find Peace and quiet and 
freedom. My love for you will always be something special; but believe me it is neither 
demanding nor possessive. 

It would not be true to say that I love Rhoda, but I am glad she has found her God 
and I sincerely wish her well 

I know tltat 1 can always count on you as you know tltat you can always count on 
me. And I am always here if you should ever need me or want me. 

I pray God to bless you and give you peace and quiet and happiness as He has in 
such large measure given to me. 

Yours, etc., 


Sometime after the end of November and probably before Christmas, Teilhard suddenly 
became ill while out walking and fell to the sidewalk. He was rushed to his doctor's office 
nearby (on the upper East Side of New York). From there, Dr. Jean Simard telephoned 
Lucile Swan, since the stricken Teilhard had asked for her. Simard asked Lucile to reassure 
Teilhard and to tell him that she loved him. She came at once and she did. Teilhard's fellow 
Jesuits had also been called. They came and drove him to the Jesuit residence. 

New-York, Dec. 1.54 

Dear Lucile, 

Thank you, so much, for your letter of yesterday. — No, you had not 
given me any wrong impression, when we met, last week. On the contrary, you 
were very sweet, — and I found you such a strong friend to me. Yes, I count on 
you, too, — just as you count on me. And, for smaller or bigger things, I am 
always here for you, and I know that you are therefor me. — Let us converge, you 
and me, courageously and happily, toward the new face of God which attracts 
both of us. — For this fascinating task of discovery I need you, — and 1 shall 

always do the utmost for helping you. 

Good luck for your workl — and God bless you for all you did and are for 



NX, Dec. 12, 1954 THEIR 

r. r ., m 9-55 

DearLuctle, ^^^ 

These few lines to tell you that tomorrow (St Lucia) my "mass" will be 
for you: that God should give you plenty of his peace (that is of his Presence), — 293 
and that we should be "force et douceur" for each other, — you and me — more 
and more, — and for ever — 

I hope your work is developping well. — Nothing much new, as far as I 
concerned, except that the W. G. Foundation is decidedly planning some enlarge- 
ments, — and that I am likely to be incorporated in the new scheme 

I shall explain you. 



After Christmas he apparently joined her several times for tea. There are no letters nor 
record of visits during the next three months. But in her calendar on March 25, Lucile com- 
mented "wonderful visit". The following letter was probably written shortly afterwards 
and may be the one that Teilhard dates March 28. This undated copy was found among her 

[no date / perhaps March 28, 1 955] 


What a wonderful talk we had on Friday. I have been thinking of it so much — 
especially about your "atomic theory". It is such a thrilling idea — and so very possibly 
true and the key to a real Unity which would lead to the spiritual awakening of which we 
dream. If you "write anything on this subject please send me a copy — and I hope we shall 
talk about it again some day, when you feel like it. 

Dearest it makes me very sad if lam partly the cause of your malaise. Don't let 
me be. You know I have found Peace and it is the thing I long for you more than anything 
else — the real Peace of God's presence. If there is anything I can do to help you, please 
talk. You know I am always here to do anything I can. 

G.B.Y. Always 


PS. If it would be easier not to see me, tell me. 

Lucile's undated letter may be the one that Teilhard referred to in his March 30 reply. 

New- York, March 30, 1955 

Lucile dear, 

Merci, tant,for your letter (March 28) 

Yes, stupidly enough, I am still nervous, — more nervous than I would, — 
than I should be. 


TEILHARD And, at the same time, I need definitely your presence, your influence, in 

I hope (I am sure) that things will gradually settle, "emotionally" speak' 
294 fff &* — * w the meantimes, and as a minimum (or as a provisional "optimum") we 
might try to see each other at the rate of two-three times a winter. — In any case, 
we know, both of us, that we "are always here" for each other. — Phone me any 
time you like. — I will let you know anything important or interesting which 
may happen to me. And I shall certainly see you before I leave New York for the